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INDIVIDUAL TOILETS – An NFI Urban Governance Initiative!


Individual household toilets are being built in the project area in Cuttack city. This activity covers the Muslim sahi and Amaniapatna areas in Ward 52, and Samal sahi area of ward 24. A total of 34 toilets have been built till date. Before starting work, toilet committees were formed in the different neighbourhoods to look into all the matters related to toilets such as beneficiary selection, site selection, providing technical and material support to families who need such support, providing funds, monitoring work, and managing the fund. A toilet fund was created and HDI contributed the seed money. Individual households were provided support from this fund. According to the arrangement, HDI would contribute Rs.4000/- to each household, out of which Rs.2000/- is given as a one-time grant and the other 2000 is a loan to be repaid in installments. The repaid amount is to be deposited back into the toilet fund. Thus, it is a revolving fund which is supposed to support new beneficiaries with the fund returned by the initial beneficiaries. An amount of about Rs.135000/- have been given for the toilets to 34 different beneficiaries in different phases. These funds have been distributed over 2011 and 2012. Most beneficiaries are returning the loan amount at the rate of Rs.100/- per month, whereas only a few are returning Rs.200/- per month. The earlier beneficiaries who were benefited in 2011 have returned most of the amount, whereas the beneficiaries of 2012 have returned only a small proportion. Two of them, one woman who lost her husband meanwhile, are not in a position to return anything. Till date, the revolving fund has accumulated an amount of over Rs.22,000/-. It is ready to fund about 6 new beneficiaries, of which 3 will be from Muslim sahi who are requesting for the support since quite some time

Munni bibi, is a middle aged woman in Muslim sahi in Ward 52. She has 7 members in her family, including 3 men and 4 adult women. She and her family, especially the women folk, were facing much discomfort and disgrace due to the lack of a toilet at home. With growing population and buildings and disappearing vacant empty spaces around their habitation, it was becoming increasingly difficult to go for defecation outside. For women, it was becoming more of a nightmare. While her family was just getting restless to have a toilet at home, she was hesitant to go ahead as no one around her had built a toilet and all of them were feeling helpless as they did not have much idea as to how much it would cost and what would be an appropriate choice of design and size. When HDI organized a meeting on the issue, they participated and got all their clarifications. While they were convinced that a toilet can be built bear their home within a budget of Rs.8000/-, since others were also going to build at the same time, it meant that she would also get support in arranging the right mason and the right materials. She immediately agreed to go ahead with the building of the individual toilet in her backyard and arranged the funds required. She also received financial support from HDI. Her toilet was completed in 2011 in the first phase. She has been using it since then.

The toilet proved handy when her son got married in 2012. The bride’s family enquired about the presence of toilet in her house andshe proudly announced that they possessed a toilet. She was able to get the daughter-in-law of her choice because of this. She also felt extremely relieved that her new daughter-in-law does not have to go outside for defecation. She is paying back her loan amount every month at the rate of Rs.100/- per month and has paid back Rs.1600/- till now. She will pay back her remaining loan amount in another 4 months.

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