Mumbai: Swades Foundation has been working through unique 360-degree model of holistic development since 2013 with initiatives in the area of Health and Sanitation to make villages in rural Maharashtra Open-Defecation Free
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Clean India Mission is a country-wide campaign initiated by the Government of India in 2014 to eliminate open defecation and improve solid waste management. In line with this mission, Swades Foundation has been working actively in the area of Health and Sanitation, details of which are given below:
Swades Foundation operates with a focus of empowering 1 million Rural Indians, every 5-6 years. Swades has a unique 360° intervention inside-out model of development, with a multiplier effect. They take on a holistic approach to solve issues in villages, committing to improve the standard of living in rural areas. Their works covers 4 key verticals – Health & Nutrition, Education, Water & Sanitation and Economic Development, with their work benefitting over 500,000 people today.
Swades Foundation believes that having household toilets is critical towards facilitating a healthy lifestyle. It has ensured that every individual from a family in the district of Raigad, has access to a toilet in their respective homes. Swades Foundation has a unique approach to ensure sustainability of the work undertaken. Since 2013, Swades Foundation has built over 23,813 household toilets, benefitting over 1,00,000 people with 1,339 villages declared as ODF. These toilets are built on a twin soak pit model using brick & mortar, pre-cast and pre-fab super structures. The foundation has 1,945 Nigrani Samitis formed and trained on sanitation framework which monitor the progress of the communities, with the aim of being open-defecation free. Hand wash and upkeep of toilet is a must and is regularly monitored by trained Nigrani Samitis nominated by the community themselves, who also ensure that all family members should use the toilet regularly. This is in addition to providing schools with access to toilets and clean drinking water. The foundation has an elaborate process to screen and repair existing urinals and stand posts in schools and those that are devoid of any water and sanitation facility are facilitated with new structures with a clear focus on building separate toilets for boys and girls. 196 schools have been provided with drinking water & sanitation infrastructures impacting nearly 30,000 students year-on-year.
For sustainability and behavior change, Swades Foundation organizes various street plays, community-led total sanitation programmes, swachhta raths, rallies and other modes to engage with the community and ensure an open defecation free geography. The ultimate vision of Swades Foundation is to reduce the incidence of disease due to open defecation and to restore dignity of individuals, especially women and children.