Block Open Defecation Free Programme

India’s sanitation challenges are well documented. Despite over a quarter century of government-led  interventions  starting with the Central Rural Sanitation Program (CRSP) in 1986,  through  the  Total  Sanitation  Campaign  (TSC),  Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA), and the  recently  christened Swach Bharat Mission (SBM), India has over 60 percent of the global burden of individuals  who defecate  in the  open.  A  2010  World  Bank  study  estimated  that  poor  sanitation  and  the resulting  disease  burden economic  could lead to losses equivalent  to 6% of GDP due to mortality, lost productivity and health-related costs. Environmental enteropathy, water-borne helminthic infections and diseases like diarrhea also contribute to poor health, nutrition and cognitive outcomes and nearly 600,000 child deaths annually.  Inadequate  access  to safe sanitation  facilities  are also reported  to exacerbate  equity  issues  contributing  to negative outcomes  like high school dropout  rates for adolescent  girls and sexual violence  against women. Finally, the world appears likely to miss the MDG around improved access to basic sanitation largely because of India’s lagging performance.


Against  this fairly dismal  background,  the Government  of India  and various  development partners  have attempted  to intensify  and strengthen  efforts  to improve  national  sanitation coverage  and  outcomes.  Progress  has  particularly  been  achieved  over  the  last  decade following  the launch  of the TSC,  which  sought  to shift  from  an exclusive  focus  on toilet construction (as under the CRSP) to a more integrated approach that included elements like communication  for behavior change and incentives for collective action at village and sub- district level (the Nirmal Gram Puraskar or NGP).


Since the launch of the TSC in 1999, the government  reports having constructed  over 60 million toilets across India (roughly one for every ten rural population) and has spent over 100 billion rupees leading to reported sanitation coverage increasing from 22% to over 68% (TSC 2012). These apparently impressive figures notwithstanding,  the implementation  of the TSC has been critiqued  for continuing  with an excessive  focus on toilet construction  with little emphasis  on promoting  toilet use and safe disposal  of fecal matter,  largely due to weak progress  on the demand  generation  and norm  shaping  aspects  that determine  sanitation behavior. A notable exception was the NGP under which 28,000 Gram Panchayats (GP) – about 10% of the total number – were awarded for achieving open defecation free status.  As  it  moves  into  the 12th Five  Year  Plan  (2012-2017),  the  Government  of  India  has announced plans to rebrand the TSC as the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyaan (NBA) in order to build on the successes of the TSC and achieve the goal of ending open defecation by 2017. Later, it has been further modified to Swach Bharat Mission (SBM), providing better incentive up-to Rs. 12,000/.


As per Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Govt. of India[1], latrine coverage is only about one third of population. It is a matter of national shame that there are an estimated 626 million people in India defecating in the open and this constitutes nearly 60% of those practising open defecation in the entire world. Hand washing is also very low, leading to spread of disease. As far as water supply is concern, only 71% habitations with 100% Population Coverage (37% with piped water supply) could have been achieved.


The scenario is far worse in Uttarakhand, which consist of sparsely populated clusters. Rudimentary infrastructure for the provision of safe potable water and sanitation facility is still absent in many parts of the hilly regions. Overall, house hold latrine coverage is around 54%.


Keeping in mind the issues of water security and sanitation in Uttarakhand and the efforts put in by Himmotthan over the years, the Tata Trusts along with H.T Parekh Foundation (an Initiative of HDFC) propose to cover 312 villages, comprises of 117 Gram Panchayats (GP) of Gangolihat block, Pithrogarah district by providing sanitation facility to 6,400 household with improved Point of Use (PoU) water and water security plan to selective villages, thus benefiting above 40,000 people. The project would be for a period of three years, clubbed with carefully developed Information, Education and Communication (IEC) strategy for effective and sustained rollout.

[1] Department of Drinking Water Supply; Ministry of Rural Development, GoI; Report; 2009


Himmotthan Head Office

193, Vasant Vihar, Phase-2

Behind Shri Guru Ram Rai Public School


Uttarakhand, India - 248006

Contact Number : (0135)- 2760728, 2761796

Himmotthan WATSAN Office

41, Vasant Vihar, Phase-2


Uttarakhand, India - 248006

Contact Number : (0135)- 2762966

Himmotthan Regional Offices
1. Kumaun Region-Almora

(Mohalla Talla Galli, Jakhan Devi, Almora, Uttarakhand India, 263609)

2. Garhwal Region Office- Chamoli

Near Petrol Pump, Gopeshwar,District Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India

3. Garhwal Region Office- Jadipani

Gram Saud, Jadipani, Chamba Block, District Tehri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India

4. Himmotthan Society/Tata Trusts PMU Leh

C/o Advocate Otsal Wangdus near Postal Colony
Housing Colony Leh - 194101 (Ladakh), India
Tel: 01982-253553

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