Rotary Club of Madras builds 107 Toilets at Keemalur
On Sunday, 3rd April 2016 the villagers of Keemalur woke up to a different dawn. This small hamlet near Gummidipoondi, for the first time saw its residents use a clean toilet in their home, which was actually built by them. These villagers entirely from the under privileged class eking out a small living from farm income, took part in constructing these 107 toilets. The total Project Cost including sanitation, water and awareness amounted to Rs. 20.38 Lakh and was funded by the Rotary Club of Madras (RCM).
The villagers of Keemalur have been living here for the past 65 years but have not had any toilet facility. Rotary Club of Madras had done a Sanitation program in Amarampedu village last year, one of the 5 villages in this cluster. In Keemalur, Rotary Club of Madras (DIST-3230) has repeated its success in making the place Open Defecation Free (ODF).
Past District Governor Benjamin Cherian, whose family has contributed significantly, was present and spoke about the importance of good health because of the use of toilets particularly among the Women Folk and the Girls in the adolescence age. In accordance with the Prime Minister’s Swach Bharat Abhyan initiative, multiple methods of intervention like Motivation, Awareness creation, Triggering helped in bringing about behavioral change.
Rtn. Sundaresan Ravi, Sanitation Committee Chairman said, “We undertook a very aggressive communication strategy and reached out individually to every household in the village. Street plays, door to door campaign, street walk etc were used to bring about a complete change in the mindset of the villagers. CDs with films on sanitation, pamphlets, were distributed to each house. Rotaractors and interactors conducted street wise and door wise health awareness programs. NGO Nalamdana was engaged to organize street plays and other methods to instill in the minds of the villagers the advantages and benefits of using toilets.
Rotary District Governor, C R Raju inaugurated these facilities at Keemalur. Rotary Club of Madras President Rt. A. S. Venkhat Ramani, Community Services Dir. Dr. R. Chandrasekhar, and Chairman, Water and Sanitation Committee Rtn. Sundaresan Ravi, Rtn, Markand Desai who has donated the land, Rtn. George Cherian, Rtn. Christopher Devapragasam and Rtn. Nimish Tolia were among those who participated.