National Institute for Water and Sanitation - NIWAS
The successful intervention in the rural, urban and coastal areas (tsunami affected fishermen villages) during the last two decades, innovations like child friendly toilets, community managed pay and use toilets systems, school health intervention, toilet technology park, introduction of water saving toilet pans for rural and baby pans, effective documentation system led Gramalaya to be one of the national and international resource organizations for water and sanitation activities. As a result of the 15 years of hard work and commitment to the vision, Gramalaya is visited every month, weekly by many international organizations, national organizations, Government departments, NGOs, researchers and academicians.
Many NGOs are approaching Gramalaya for giving training on Water and Sanitation, community development etc. including Government department officials and local community based organizations. NGOs abroad are frequently visiting Gramalaya rural and urban projects for replication in their local regions. Gramalaya is having well equipped infrastructures like simple accommodation and boarding, internet facilities, audio-visual equipments such as LCD projector in the Training centre established at the Kolakkudipatti village about 45 km. from Tiruchirappalli City. The NIWAS training centre is located in a serene atmosphere facing Kolli Hills and Green Hills and about 3 km away from the River Cauvery, the lifeline of millions of people. The training centre location itself is enabling nearby communities to visit the toilet models in the Centre for Toilet Technology adjacent to the NIWAS building, stay in the training centre for getting training on women self-help groups management, book keeping, skills training etc., Apart from the regular visitors to the training centre, the school teachers, noon meal workers, Panchayat presidents, masons are provided training through Gramalaya faculties. Last year alone, more than 2300 people were trained from Gramalaya Training Centre.
As a result of the training provided by Gramalaya, these trainees go to their work places, villages, institutions as master trainers, facilitators, volunteers, peer educators to serve for the promotion of water and sanitation. The trainees gave feedback about the training methodology, how useful the training for their profession and gave feedback after effectively working in their field. As a result, more and more competency personnel and organizations are trained and developed by Gramalaya to work in the field of water and sanitation sector. Further, Gramalaya will work closely with MFIs like Guardian who will in turn work for providing WaterCredit to the people lacking water and sanitation facilities. By providing training and capacity building for Guardian like MFIs, Gramalaya in the future will serve as a resource agency for upgrading the skills of MFIs in water sector where more and more organizations both NGOs and MFIs will benefit out of the training centre.