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Gramalaya projects are aimed at stopping open defecation in the intervention areas which include rural and urban slums in Cities. Gramalaya enabled the panchayat to declare India’s first village Thandavampatti as open defecation free (ODF) village in Tiruchirappalli District where the panchayat passed a resolution in the grama sabha meeting. Based on the community led total sanitation approach, Gramalaya so far helped the local communities to declare 56 panchayats as ODF with the assistance from the district officials under Total Sanitation Campaign scheme. There are 200 habitations covered in the ODF panchayats.
The project implemented in the three blocks of Thottiyam, Thathaiengarpet and Thuraiyur Block in Tiruchirappalli District The project implemented in the three blocks of Thottiyam, Thathaiengarpet and Thuraiyur Block in Tiruchirappalli District of Tamil Nadu resulted in overwhelming response from different stakeholders like the community based organizations who are the Panchayat-level federation of women’s self-help groups, school children, PRIs, Total Sanitation Campaign, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the bankers in the operational area. As an outcome of the project, the entire block of Thathaiengarpet declared as Open defecation free Block. As a result of the collaborative effort of different organizations and Government, Thathaiengarpet Block got the Nirmal Gram Purashkar Award (Clean Village Award) for the entire Union from the President of India on 8.12.2008 at a function held at Pune by the central government
The District Administration through the Total Sanitation Campaign supported Gramalaya in releasing subsidy for the constructed toilets. The toilets constructed were monitored by the by the officials at the block and district level, they also participated and endorsed the village Open defecation free declaration organised by people in association with elected representatives. Encouragement and support has been extended by the Member of Legislative Assembly and the state ministers. The Panchayat chairman and the Presidents monitored coverage and usage before declaring the village as open defecation free, they proudly erected sign boards in important locations, and also promulgated an order of fine for anybody found defecating in the open. Child brigade was made responsible for monitoring. The District Collector participated in the Panchayat-level Federation meeting of women self-help groups and appreciated the combined efforts of TSC, women self-help groups, bankers and the NGO Gramalaya.
Loans from the commercial banks and Primary Agricultural Co-operative societies to the women Self-Help Groups enabled the communities to construct household toilets. Loans from the commercial banks and Primary Agricultural Co-operative societies to the women Self-Help Groups enabled the communities to construct household toilets. The communities were enabled to access technical support through the toilet technology centre which housed different toilet models. With the help of trained cement fabricators and masons 18,200 household latrines were constructed with a total loan amount of Rs.5.40 crores. The entire project was facilitated by Gramalaya where the community involved in achieving the goal of sanitation for all.