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India: Total Sanitation Campaign in HP: Rural Women Played a Pivotal Role, Says Expert
Source: indianexpress.com
Source Date: Monday, October 25, 2010
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: India
Created: Oct 25, 2010

“Women of rural areas in Himachal Pradesh have emerged as the driving force to bring about behavioural changes for phasing out the old practice of open defecation,” observed Christopher Juan Costain, regional team leader of Water Sanitation Programme (WSP) of South Asia, at the concluding session of the three-day international workshop on Sustainability and Rural Sanitation Initiatives in India, held at the Himachal Institute of Public Administration.

“Himachal has become a role model for other states to imbibe the spirit of women empowerment, leadership qualities and effective role of Panchayati Raj Institutions for making the Total Sanitation Campaign a grand success,” said Costain.

Nearly 60 delegates who participated in the conference put forward their observation about Himachal’s achievements. Their presentations were based on field visits to nine panchayats of Shimla and Solan districts — Khaneti, Himari, Thari, Mashobra, Kot, Sakori, Kwarag and Nauni. 

Head of Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Foundation of Kolkata Dr Kamal Kar observed that the awareness level of people of Himachal to keep their ambiance neat and clean was extremely high and gram panchayats had been playing a pivotal role in achieving the targets under the Total Sanitation Campaign.

Himachal is targeting to achieve the goal of a completely open-defecation free state by December 2010. Principal Secretary to Arunachal Pradesh

Government Thomas Ete said the contractors executing projects in hill states should be asked to provide facilities of toilets to their labour force as the problem of migrant labour was posing an alarming threat to sanitation.

Himachal also put up a new trend where people adopted construction of toilets in their houses without seeking government subsidy, said Principal Secretary, Urban Development, Deepak Sanan. “We urge the Union government to revise and recast this policy on subsidy under TSC,” said Sanan.
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