TAMIL NADU

Kancheepuram self-help groups show the way

Making low-cost toilet fixtures

Staff Reporter

KANCHEEPURAM: : The commitment shown by some rural people in renouncing the unhygienic practice of open defecation has not only led to a clean environment but also helped women self-help groups become successful entrepreneurs.

The groups are engaged in the production of low-cost toilet fixtures.

The Padavettamman Women SHG of Thenambakkam in Kancheepuram block, took up manufacturing of toilet pans, `P' trap and squatting slabs , from April 2004 with an initial funding of Rs.1 lakh, provided to them under the Rural Sanitary Mart and Production Centre scheme, a component of Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) funded by the Centre and State.

For marketing, the District Rural Development Authority ensured that fixtures used for construction of individual toilets in a village panchayat of the five panchayats selected for implementation of the TSC in one block, were the products made by the WSHGs.

By this, the Padavettamman group was able to receive orders throughout the year and it led to the sale of 2277 toilet pans of 2615 pans manufactured by it up to May 2005, said DRDA Project Officer, P.Velusamy.

Apart from being available at an affordable cost, these pans needed less water for flushing.

The success of Padavettamman group has inspired a WSHG in Kundrathur block and another in Chitamur block to follow suit.

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