After its efforts towards ensuring community management practices on a sustainable basis to provide domestic water to the communities in four panchayats (in the first phase of the project), Gandhigram identified five villages where sanitation coverage was poor and addressed these through:
- Increasing awareness of people on importance of safe sanitation and hygiene practices.
- Training and orienting the village panchayat to provide improved services to the community.
- Providing a menu of sanitation options to people that they could choose from depending on their affordability.
- Linking them with a revolving fund that provided interest free loans and the government scheme that provided incentive for toilet construction.
- Awareness building workshops, exposure visits and IEC activities were conducted to create awareness about the importance of sanitation and hygiene.
- Training was given to the community and gram panchayat members to facilitate better village level sanitation planning.
- Over 170 Self Help Groups (SHGs) were formed to distribute loans for construction of latrines.
- More than 580 families were motivated to construct single pit toilets.
- Waste management was promoted by constructing more than 60 soak pits.
- Rs. 7 lakh leveraged from the Total Sanitation Campaign, Government of India’s flagship scheme for sanitation.
- Rs. 3 lakh was provided by Arghyam as an interest free revolving fund to speed up toilet construction, as families received subsidies from the government only after construction of the toilet.