A group of 400 women have been awarded by the Federation Of Indian Chambers Of Commerce And Industry (FICCI) and Indian Sanitation Coalition for their contribution in the field of urban sanitation. The women hailed from various self help groups and worked together to set up around 200 public toilets in Trichy for which, they were awarded with the Best Non-profit Engagement Model in Sanitation (Urban) at the ISC-FICCI Sanitation Awards on Thursday.

According to Primetimes, One of the women leaders of the group, Rukmini, says that she was reluctant initially to get into any sort of sanitation work because of the taboo that surrounds it. “If not for my SHG friends, I would never have gotten involved. Now I have travelled to all the four zones in Trichy, gone to all the community toilets, discussed with the city officials regarding sanitation requirements, created a lot of awareness in the slums, and have also faced a large number of problems. The impact we have created gives me purpose,” she says.

The women hailed from various self help groups and worked together to set up around 200 public toilets in Trichy.

The group is named as Women’s Action For Village Empowerment (WAVE) and includes all the Self Help Groups (SHGs) involved in setting up community and public toilets in the area. The team consists of around 150 active ‘SHE’ teams and has been working towards setting up toilets , jointly with Trichy Corporation.

What Is WAVE Federation

In 2009, the civic body decided to rope in women SHGs for setting up toilets and developing urban sanitation in the city. The main task ahead of this was arranging fund for setting up toilets in slums and low income areas. For the same, a federation of SHGs (WAVE) was formed comprising of 15 members each.

The WAVE was shortlisted for the Indian Sanitation Coalition awards in March 2019, after applying for the same. Thereupon, the team was asked to create a presentation to explain its model in front of the jury. The jury found the nomination as the best  in non profit engagement in sanitation (urban) category.

In 2009, the civic body decided to rope in women SHGs for setting up toilets and developing urban sanitation in the city. The main task ahead of this was arranging fund for setting up toilets in slums and low income areas.

The initiative is supported by many in the area. This includes the local body and NGOs WaterAid, Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS), and Gramalaya. They have been supporting the federation for over a decade both technically and financially. Moreover, local women were appointed as in charge of the sanitation complexes to encourage the ownership attitude in them.

A cross subsidization model was used in which, the revenue generated by toilets near bus stands and public places was used to build and maintain toilets in slum and low income areas. The cross subsidization model proved to be sustainable as the federation had set up a particular fees for frequent and new visitors.

Picture Credits- The News Minute

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Anushika Srivastava is an Intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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