The need for construction of adequate number of toilets to put an end to open defecation in the country and improving water resources was stressed at a Bankers’ Meet here recently. It was a pity that only 40 per cent of the people had toilets in their homes and that only 20 per cent of the people use the toilets.
If the objective of the Centre that an end should be put to open defecation by 2019, lakhs of toilets had to be built, said speakers. The meeting was jointly organised by Gramalaya and Guardian, a micro finance institution.
S. Damodharan, Founder and Chairman, Gramalaya Groups, Tiruchi, said that Gramalaya had provided easy monthly loans to members of self-help groups for construction of household toilets and so far 56,206 toilets had been built under the programme.
Community toilets and child-friendly toilets had been built by gramalaya for over 15 years.
Gramalaya, a non-governmental organisation, approved as the National Key Resource Centre had been implementing construction of individual toilets for the past 25 years. He sought the help of bankers for construction of toilets by providing loans. He said that Indian Overseas Bank had provided loans of Rs. 16 crore in the past.
“Sikkim is the only State which has been declared as open defecation free State in the country. Kerala and Himachal are making great efforts to achieve the target soon. In Tamil Nadu, Kanyakumari district has 97.5 per cent toilet coverage. But one cannot guess, how long Tamil Nadu will take to achieve 100 per cent coverage goal,” Mr. Damodharan said.
D. Paul Sathianathan, Chief Executive Officer of Guardian, a micro finance organisation, said that his unit funded construction of toilets and getting drinking water connections.
It had been providing microfinance at low interest rate for construction of toilets and getting water connections through women self-help groups. It was providing loan for creating rainwater harvesting structures.
S. Narasimhan, Chief Regional Manager, Indian Overseas Bank, promised all help from bank for taking up sanitation schemes.
S. Suresh Kumar, Assistant General Manager, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, said that NABARD had been providing fund from its Rural Infrastructure Development Scheme for various projects.
Gramalaya Groups have extended funding for building 56,206 toilets
IOB has sanctioned Rs. 16 crore for construction of toilets