Women and girls, on an average, hold their bladders for 13 hours a day due to lack of sufficient toilets in their surroundings. Most problems in the body arise from lack of sufficient toilets around. However, with awareness, the situation is changing and lives of numerous women and girls are transforming eventually. Needful construction of toilets, in Pune households, has led to a reduction in infections in the slums. This has also led to a reduced usage of community toilets in the city.
Reportedly, having household toilets in more than 300 slums in Pune have led to a decline in urinary tract infection among women from 23% to 13%. There has also been a significant rise in better diet and nutrition from 5% to 27%.
Swachh Bharat intervention: Collective effort in building this necessity
Shelter Associates, a Pune NGO, conducted a survey among 20,000 slumdwellers with household toilets from 2015 onwards. The NGO has partnered with Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to provide low-cost household toilets.
Sujata Londhe, a beneficiary, told HT about her struggle and relief concerning the usage of toilets. Sujata’s daughter, who is specially-abled, suffered a great deal because of the unavailability of a toilet at home. A toilet, now, in their one-room house, has provided a great support. There are several other families who have been benefited from this initiative.
PMC ranks first under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in reaching out to over 46,500 slum households with toilets. Considering that 50% of Pune’s 35 lakh population lives in slums, PMC’s urban sanitation policy focused on ending open defecation.
Shelter Associates’ One House-One Toilet model and PMC’s drive for change
— Shelter Associates (@ShelterAssts) July 23, 2018
The NGO’s data driven One House-One Toilet (OHOT) model lays focus on three steps. It creates spatial data, mobilises communities and finally delivers construction material to beneficiaries where they bear the cost of construction bringing in ownership and flexibility. This model combines urban local bodies and other stakeholders to ensure sustainability and scalability of the model. The ministry of urban development is using this model as a showcase for ‘Best Practices in Sanitation’.
It is not just about getting a household toilet constructed but it being backed by a deep thought and creativity to make the space a pleasant one to be used by all! Such efforts by one of our beneficiaries at Shenda park settlement in Kolhapur! pic.twitter.com/EwiMS7V5E1
— Shelter Associates (@ShelterAssts) July 4, 2018
PMC is now looking to strengthen the community toilets system. Good maintenance of public toilets will also be a major focus.
The PMC has so far delivered more than 46,500 individual household toilets in slums. The Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporation and Kolhapur municipal corporation are considering this model in making the respective cities open defecation-free.