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Focus on South Asian Sanitation in Chennai

“My family often asks me why I do it,” says Mr. Mathivanan, President of Keelathirupalakydy village in Tamil Nadu state, India. “I get up at 3 a.m. to go out and check if anyone is defecating in the open in my village. My family asks me why I get up early just to see people defecate!” Many would share the views of Mr. Mathivanan’s family but a two-day conference in Chennai from September 2-3, 2008 aimed to change that. 

The conference, convened by Department of Drinking Water Supply, Government of India and WSP – South Asia, was an opportunity for state sanitation workers to share their achievements and challenges with other states.  

The second day allowed village leaders to discuss how sanitation affects their villages. Journalists and editors from many India news outlets such as; The Hindustan Times, The Hindu, and Star Television were also invited to partner with the government and sanitation workers during this conference. Many attendees commented on how valuable it was to get the perspective of media and other states, giving them new ideas and suggestions on how to provide improved sanitation services.

The conference was the first of three sanitation conclaves which are being convened around the South Asia Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) III to be held from Nov 16-21, in Delhi. The conclaves are raising awareness, across the South Asia region, of initiatives that are taking place in small towns, political incentives for improved sanitation and ensuring that SACOSAN III results in concrete actions to provide total sanitation in the South Asia region. 

To see the presentations from the conference please click on the links below:

DAY 1

Overview of SACOSAN, Conference Themes and the India Sanitation Vision, Mr. T.M. Vijay Bhaskar, Joint Secretary, DDWS, Ministry of Rural Development

Presentation on Sanitation Themes: Successes and Challenges:

  • Tamil NaduMs. R.V. Sajeevana, Additional Director, Commissionerate of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj; Mr. Mathivanan, President, Keelathirupalakudi village panchayat, Thiruvarur Distict; Mr. Jagadeesan, Grandline village panchayat, Thiruvallur District 

  • Kerala: Dr. R Ajay Kumar Varma, Executive Director, Swachata Mission

  • Karnataka: Mr. T.K. Anil Kumar, Director, KRWSSA

  • Maharashtra: Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, CEO, Zilla Parishad Hingoli, Maharashtra

  • Andhra Pradesh: Mr. Rama Mohan, Chief Engineer, RWS&S

DAY 2

The Sanitation Story Presentation by Mr. C. Ajith Kumar, Water and Sanitation Specialist, WSP-SA 

Presentations on Sanitation Successes and Challenges: Community Voices

  •  Tamil Nadu, Presentations A and B: Ms. R.V. Sajeevana, Additional Director, Commissionerate of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj; Mr. Mathivanan, President, Keelathirupalakudi village panchayat, Thiruvarur Distict; Mr. Jagadeesan, Grandline village panchayat, Thiruvallur District

  • Kerala: Mr. S. Nazaruddin, President, Nedumpana Gram Panchayat, Kollam

  • Karnataka: Mr. K.S.Manoj Kumar, Faculty, ANIRD.

  • Maharashtra: Mr. Muneshwar Kakebate, Representative of Gram Panchayat, Chichtola, District Gondia

  • Andhra Pradesh: Mr. Ravinder Babu, Sarpanch, Apparaju Gudem, West Godavari District

Discussion on media handbook- Ashok Malik, Media Consultant