Recognising Inner Strengths, Taking Collective Action and Fostering Ownership

In Lormagorhati, a remote village of Kamrup, the youth and ladies in the community have realised that the sanitary latrines being provided to every home in the village are either made of sub-standard materials or that households are being left out. Based on a Self Assessment done by the community earlier, proper sanitation was an issue that they felt they were lagging behind on, so it became a part of their action plan. They would ensure that each household would be covered using sanitary toilets and the village would be ODF(Open Defecation Free). Though initially their efforts were focussed on ensuring sanitary latrines for every household, in the process they realised that the community was being provided with sub-standard latrines.

The proactive youth in the village decided to use the RTI to get correct information as to details like number of households stated to be covered, amounts sanctioned for construction of latrines etc. They also decided to report to the appropriate authorities the substandard nature of toilets being constructed and seek remedial steps. This shows a marked change from an attitude of complacency and inertia to one of awareness and concern. Whilst the CLCP process and the SALT approach has rekindled the community's abilities to visualise their collective dreams, it has also made them realise that on the journey towards the realisation of their dreams, they constantly must revisit those dreams, and their actions based on which level they assessed themselves initially and whether they need to revise or modify their actions accordingly.

This self realisation and awakening from the usual practice of inertia speaks volumes about how, through the SALT approach communities learn to retrospect, assess, analyse their own actions and not become totally dependent on government and other service providers. SALT has fostered ownership and collective action whilst at the same time ensuring quality services and all requisite services as per our basic rights.

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Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on October 30, 2018 at 9:51am

I like the word inertia you have used. it tends to creep in most of us. What do you think stimulated the community? Why did youth take a lead in this? Thanks.

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