In 2010, India launched the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) to bring about positive changes in sanitation and hygiene across the country and achieve full sanitation coverage by 2012. The TSC relies on partnerships with community organizations such as village level committees, NGOs, self-help groups, and youth groups for social mobilization, toilet construction and maintenance, and hygiene education and capacity building.

India is experiencing a paradigm shift in rural sanitation with the launch of the Total Sanitation Campaign.(TSC). Community participation, motivation and innovative financial incentives hold key to bring about positive sanitation and hygiene behaviour changes amongst rural communities. These were the high points of the address by Ms. Rajwant Sandhu Secretary, Department of Drinking Water Supply & Sanitation , Govt. of India while inaugurating one day workshop at Vishwa Yuva Kendra, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi today.The objective of the workshop is to find potential in accelerating partnership with community for the program.

One of the key reasons for the rapid acceleration in sanitation coverage has been the community led demand driven, and flexible approach of TSC implementation. TSC envisages a pivotal role of Panchayati Raj Institutions, Non Government organizations, community based organizations, Self Help Groups, Youth groups in the implementation of TSC. These institutions are being actively involved at various levels of programme implementation ranging from social mobilization for the construction of toilets and inter-personal communication for hygiene education though intensive information Education and Communication activities, capacity building programmes, regular use and maintenance of assets such as the community complexes, environmental components, drainage etc. constructed under the TSC, ensuring that safety standards are being met with all components of TSC and monitoring the implementation of the programme. While some of the states have integrated community participation and involvement of all stakeholders at all levels of the programme strategy other states need to strengthen this important aspect of programme implementation.

The Campaign has accelerated the sanitation coverage from a mere 21.9% in 2001 to over 65 percent today and the goal of achieving full sanitation coverage by 2012 seems within our reach now. The benefits of investments in sanitation through the Total Sanitation Campaign are many but the most endurable will be the long term impact it will have on the health profiles and quality of life of our rural population.

Among the notable participants at the workshop include the representatives from Tarun Bharat Sangh and Nehru Yuva Kendra, Delhi. Rajendra Bhai from Tarun Bharat Sangh emphasized upon linking the ethos of community with the Government efforts in changing the mind set of societies for bringing holistic change in the approach to the program so that the total Sanitation work could march ahead. Mr. Chandrashekhar Pran, Director, Nehru Yuva Kendra, Delhi said Nehru Yuva Nehru Kendra Scheme of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports with a network of quarter million youth clubs across rural India can play a key role in sanitation promotion. Also, the active involvement of youth, youth groups, school children as sanitation ambassadors has not only enhanced the sanitation coverage but also is ensuring that TSC is sustained in the villages.

The workshop envisages presentations on the overall perspective of TSC, experiences from the grassroot on sanitation promotion and involving youth in sanitation promotion. Sharing of Grassroots experiences by representatives from NGOs is also a part of deliberations . For this three separate working groups have been formed which include those on a) Community participation for drawing up village level sanitation plans. b) Role of stakeholders in TSC implementation & c) Capacity building on technologies. IEC and monitoring for sustainability of TSC will also come up during the course of workshop

The “National Workshop on scaling up of TSC, Accelerating partnership with community for TSC” provides a platform for various stakeholders for sharing of experiences , best practices, gaps and suggestions for improvement in various aspects of programme implementation. The workshop participants includes State level officials, Panchayati Raj institutions for the States of Assam, UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, representatives of Nehru Yuva Kendra, Non Government organizations and grassroots organizations closely involved in sanitation promotion.

It is expected that the workshop would further strengthen the “campaign approach” of TSC through active participation of NGOs, Panchayati Raj Institutions, resource organizations to bring about the desired behavioural change for relevant sanitation practices so that the vision of Nirmal Bharat is fulfilled.