Abstract: Several threads of thoughts were running through my mind, while travelling to my destination, a village called Kavthepiran in Sangli district. I was aware I had undertaken the task of capturing the complexity of a village in the limited time I was spending there. However, as a typical urbanite I was preoccupied with mundane concerns like the possibility of accessing clean toilets and potable drinking water during my visit. After refreshing myself in the well maintained circuit house in Miraj, I left for Kavthepiran with mixed feelings. I have visited several villages across India as a faculty member in social work and have come back wiser every time. The people in the rural areas are very generous hosts, offering their best; they carry their generosity in the urban areas even to the slums. To my utter surprise I realised that women of Kavthepiran had much more to offer: the pink colored clean toilets standing erect in front of every house. While I was still pleasantly surprised by the myriad impressions of clean fresh air, clean roads with well laid out gutters and plants of jasmine, mogra, roses in front of every house, I found myself in the gram panchayat office greeting women sitting on plush revolving chairs, around an equally impressive table. Dignity, pride, happiness, and an immense amount of confidence oozed from every woman I greeted. These were the ‘All women gram panchayat’ members. They also had the additional identity as members of the SHG movement.
Keywords: Tamil Nadu, rural women, women’s empowerment, Dhan foundation, total sanitation campaign, village workers, women’s movement, Self Help Groups (SHGs), development workers
The Model Village
Kavthepiran is the village with the distinction of clinching the ‘Nirmal Gram Award’ at the national level in 2005 and the state award for the best village under the ‘Sant Gadge Baba Swachhata Abhiyan’ (the village cleanliness campaign award floated by the state government to inculcate wet and dry garbage segregation
,human waste management, total sanitation with community participation) in 2003. This village has many things to boast of. The ‘All women gram panchayat’ is one, where every woman is covered under the Self Help Group program and the village is totally free of open defecation.
How are all these connected to each other? What is the role of the total sanitation campaign in bringing about transformation among women or rather what is the role of women from SHGs in achieving such success in the total sanitation campaign? Does the sanitation of a village have any connection to the sanity of the people, leading to an alcohol free, violence free status? The study of this unique transformation in the village through the SHG movement has been undertaken through an examination of the village records and through discussions with women and other key informants.
Kavthepiran is a village located about 120 kilo meters south of Pune in the Sangli district of western Maharashtra. The village is situated near the Warna River. There are some unique features of the village which strikes anybody visiting it. The village comprises of around 14,500 odd population residing in 33.5 hectares geographical area. The population is a little large compared to any other village nearby. The village is well designed and comprises of lanes cutting across at right angles. The lanes are wider, lined with drains on both the sides. The village was originally situated on the banks of the river and was inundated with floods every monsoon. It was relocated in a planned manner 300 years back. However, the various localities of the village are characterised by caste groups and religious groups. The relocation does not seem to have changed the caste and religious composition of habitations in the village.
The village economy is characterised mainly by agriculture. The total irrigated land is 940 hectares and non irrigated 5.54 hectares. An alarming fact is that around 750 hectares of land are affected by salinity .The main crops are sugarcane, soybean, wheat, mower, gram and vegetables etc. Due to cash crops such as sugar cane in the village and the cooperative sugar factories nearby, there is not much migration from the village to the cities.
Agriculture seems to be the dominant economic means of survival. Large tracts of land are owned by the dominant Maratha community and the others are landless laborers. However, the scene is changing gradually as the land is turning saline due to over irrigation and over use of fertilisers. This has hit many of the large land holders and has also affected the smaller land holders badly.
Another unique feature is the socio-cultural complexity of the village. There are four religious groups in this village and the majority is Hindus. A significant number are Muslims. A small number are Christians, as are those belonging to the Neo Buddhist category. There is one symbolic place of worship sacred to both Hindus and Muslims. It is called Sat Sayyed Peer by the Muslims and Saptarishi by the Hindus. The Dargah like structure has some tombs and also a few statues .The Muslims stay within the village structure, whereas the Dalits stay little away in their own cluster.
The dominant caste group in the village is the Marathas. This is the land of wrestlers and body builders. Nearly every Maratha youth dreams to be a wrestler or body builder of international fame. The village is also the birthplace of the legendary Hind Kesari and the 1970 Common Wealth Silver Medalist – Maruti Mane. The family of Maruti Mane and the Marathas in general, dominate the governance of the village. However the Muslims also have a strong political presence.
Women of Kavthepiran Speak …..
“There was so much of preoccupation every day, starting with the tension of getting up in the wee hours just to relieve oneself. Finding newer secluded places but still seeking safety or choosing to squat near the roads, getting up every time a vehicle passes was always nerve wrecking experience”
Another woman said: “ It was impossible to step out of the house if your lanes had liquor dens and tadi madi shops and drunken men as the evening set in”. “There was an overwhelming sense of shame when along with the lower caste lane, the other identity was that of people from a filthy, dirty, unkempt community”.
The most fulfilling experience in the campaign according to the women was, breaking all the alcohol dens and searching all the distilleries and pouring down gallons of alcohol in the gutter, washing away a part of their shame. The construction of the toilets meant freedom for these women. Freedom from constant preoccupation with bowel movements and also the resulting filth. They explained that cleanliness include freeing the village of physical and emotional garbage. One Muslim woman sitting comfortably near a Dalit woman cheerfully told us how she drew a clumsy rangoli and put up ‘gudi’ a stick with a upside down brass pot (to signify cleanliness) in front of her house like her majority Hindu neighbors. She felt that this was a symbol of their liberation from the need for open defecation.
The women said that it all started the day when the erstwhile Sarpanch, Bhimrao Mane, called for a village meeting and told them about the ‘Total Cleanliness Campaign’. He wanted them to take an oath to bring in a total Open Defecation Free, Alcohol Free and Completely clean atmosphere in their village. The women in the meeting led by a diminutive, seasoned and educated Mangal Tai took courage and for the first time asked a question: ‘How can you achieve all this in a village which is lead by a notorious criminal drunkard like the Sarpanch Bhimrao Mane?’ The women challenged the Sarpanch to take a pledge of giving up alcohol himself and to stick to the pledge. Probably the truthfulness and sincerity in the women’s outburst struck a chord in the Sarpanch and he like the dacoit Vallaya in the Ramayan was transformed. Bhimrao Mane also accepts this assessment of him by the SHG women with candor and gives due credit to the role played by the women SHGs in not only achieving the impossible but also sustaining it till now.
As described by the present Sarpanch Mrs. Jakhlekar:
“The pledge by Bhimrao the erstwhile Sarpanch and the open support of his coterie led to a revolution. On 3rd October 2001 hundreds of women stirred out of their homes with mashals in their hands. They destroyed every liquor manufacturing unit , all the 24 dens, within 24 hours and this time even the children joined them. Since then there is not even a drop of alcohol in the village and even if a diehard alcoholic comes drunk from other villages and creates nuisance his head is shaved off and he is paraded sitting on a donkey”. Gutka was also banished from the village and every panwalla follows the ban strictly.”
There seem to have been a synergistic equation and interaction between the women groups, government machinery and the political will of the erstwhile Sarpanch along with total participation of every household .This synergy was palpable in every meeting and in the overall environment of the village. Today, hundred percent Open Defecation Free village, has become a reality in Kavthepiran and the people are really proud of this reality.. Out of the 1894 houses, 1818 of them have personal toilets. For those who could not afford their own, there are 22 public toilets with 76 seats. Kavthepiran also leads in the state government’s ‘Akshay Prakash’ scheme wherein, if the villagers observe self discipline in minimising the use of electricity, they are waived the mandatory 12 hours loads shedding that is compulsory in the rural areas of Maharashtra.
Wet and dry garbage segregation is strictly observed and the common vermin compost pits generate manure. There is a unique drainage system whereby the sewage and waste water is directed systematically to the common village land instead of the river Warna, thus avoiding the pollution of the river water. The village also has a sanitation park, with models of various types of toilets and water conservation. Every household was asked to plant at least four trees. Even the floral offerings during the Ganesh festival are disposed in specially made containers instead of in the river.
The 100 percent sanitation also has resulted in eighteen out of the twenty private medical practitioners in the village having to close shop. Thanks to the proper disposal of garbage and an efficient drainage system, there are hardly any epidemics and fewer health problems.
The Village before the Total Sanitation Campaign
As said earlier two contrasting realities existed side by side. The village had made a mark internationally, due to Hind Kesari Marutirao Mane. He seems to have played a very dominant role as a Sarpanch and successfully built political connections. This reflects in the progress of women in education and the existence of good schools in the vicinity. Some women have become lawyers, or are in teaching, settled in the cities. In contrast to this, the village also achieved fame or rather it became infamous, due to the dubious activities of Bhimrao Mane, the notorious nephew of Maruti Mane. His crimes included extortion, contract killing, assaults, and forceful eviction of tenants. He was jailed for as many as twenty times in the two decades of his criminal life.
Women feared getting out of the house. People closed their doors as Bhimrao Mane passed by in the village lanes, accompanied by his gang. He became Sarpanch in the year 2000 and came drunk to the Panchayat office every single day. The civic services of the village went downhill. There were flowing gutters everywhere. The number of alcohol dens increased and there was a general atmosphere of depression and despair. The villagers claimed that it was difficult to get a match for any youth, as the parents of girls from other villages, were not willing to risk giving their daughters to this village. The open defecation, flowing gutters and lack of maintenance had taken such a toll that health problems increased two folds. The business of private medical practitioners flourished. The people of the Dalit vasti – Siddarth Nagar, said that they could not enter their community without wading through or dirtying their feet in the slush and flowing broken gutters. The Muslim communities claimed that their lane became a den of vices with a majority of distilleries and liquor dens springing up in their lane. Thus women were forced to be home bound even in the day time.
In the year 2000 itself, the rural parts of Maharashtra started seeing the seeds of change being sown in two significant ways. The wave of women’s self help groups was sweeping through every village in the state and the Sant Gadge Baba Gram Swachhata Abhiyan (total sanitation campaign) pioneered by the ex minister for rural development and water supply, started infusing life in the villages, reducing the threat of migration. Both these movements had political patronage and strong support from the government. The Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal was making strides in achieving large coverage of women, changing their lives through SHGs. Quietly and slowly the SHGs had become instrumental in changing lives of these women, from being docile victims of patriarchy to becoming entrepreneurs, freeing themselves from the clutches of money lenders by using their savings prudently through their help.
The background for the launching of the total sanitation campaign was equally strong. There was emerging a comprehensive and holistic understanding of village development, with the sanitation issue acting as a fulcrum. The planners and implementing bureaucracy realised that a direct relationship existed between water, sanitation and health. Consumption of unsafe drinking water, improper disposal of human excreta and a lack of personal and food hygiene, turned out to be the major causes of many diseases in developing countries like India. High infant mortality also was largely attributed to poor sanitation. The concept of sanitation was always seen as limited to the disposal of human excreta by cesspools, pit latrines, bucket system etc. But today there has emerged a more comprehensive meaning to the concept of sanitation. It connotes inclusion of liquid and solid waste disposal, food hygiene, personal, domestic as well as environmental hygiene. It was realised that good sanitation practices prevent contamination of water and thereby prevent diseases. The concept of sanitation was therefore expanded to include personal hygiene, home sanitation, safe water, garbage disposal, excreta disposal and waste water disposal.
In both the above mentioned programmes it was realised that the key to success is in the people centered approach. The shift from the allocation based approach to community led, demand driven approach, was really significant and was pivotal in making these programmes successful and sustainable. The thrust of the MAVIM on the women SHGs of below poverty level families, also paved way to bring in assertion among the women from the poverty groups. In the rural area this also resulted in women playing a role in the local governance and talking about finance and government schemes with ease.
There was ample evidence of all this in Kavthepiran. A woman I met from OBC category was running a shop, using the loan taken from the SHG. An old woman from the cobbler community was running a shoe shop with the help of her Self Help Group. A Dalit woman whom I met, was taking the help of the government scheme of housing for the poor and through savings from her SHG was building her own house. The women were well versed with the government schemes and demanded that the Gram Panchayat played a role in implementing them. However, it would be interesting to see how the Self Help Group Movement and Total Sanitation Campaign worked hand in hand or there was a synergy of various forces, with resultant gains to all the stake holders.
The Total Sanitation Campaign
The total sanitation campaign was formally launched on the 2nd October 2001 in Kavthepiran. Bhimrao Mane held a meeting of the Gram Sabha. He came drunk even for this sabha. He had met the Home Minister, R.R. Patil and Mallinath Kalshetti, a Zilla Parishad officer and he was motivated to take up the Total Sanitation Campaign in the village. But as narrated earlier, the women who were present in the large numbers raised a simple question with Mangal tai leading – how can a drunk Sarpanch and drunk members talk about an alcohol free clean village? The Sarpanch pledged to give up addiction and was promised cooperation from all the village people with women taking the lead. The women did not stop there, they followed it with taking up cudgels against all the liquor dens and distilleries. On 3rd October 2001 women came in hordes holding mashals or burning torches and went on a rampage breaking all the liquor dens. The Sarpanch was forced to provide protection and volunteers. This was the turning phase in the whole campaign. Within two days, several meetings were held and a systematic plan emerged for implementing the total sanitation campaign. There were several meanings to the idea of sanitation. These meetings helped in widening the meaning of the concept. The Zilla Parishad officers played an important role in giving direction to the movement and ensuring that there was people’s participation in the whole effort.
The village is divided into six wards, the campaign committee consisted of representatives from all the wards, who were active, dynamic persons. It is interesting to note that the meetings were held not just with people but with representatives of various collectives. There were representatives from every ward. Then there were representatives from SHGs of that ward followed by representatives of the mahila mandals, the representatives from the youth mandals. Another significant thing which happened was that all the government service systems like ICDS Angan Wadi, the government health centre, the schools and the gram panchayat came together to have one focus.
The various schools in the vicinity, particularly the anganwadi teachers played a very significant role in the campaign. These teachers motivated the young people and the school children to participate in the campaign. The aim of the campaign was to clean the accumulated garbage, encourage the households to build toilets, destroy liquor dens and cleaning the streets of liter. The work undertaken by the villagers commandeered every available tractor in the village to transport garbage out of the village. The villagers then repaired the drains and the roads in the village and also shut the liquor dens. The program was sustained, by awareness rallies and cultural programmes. Prizes were awarded to the cleanest hamlet, the cleanest lane and the cleanest home. Women were inducted into the program through special programmes for them. College girls went from house to house to check the personal hygiene of the children. In 2001, the village achieved a second place at the taluka level for cleanliness. Disappointed that they could not achieve the first prize because of the lack of toilets, the villagers decided to ensure that each house had its own toilet.
Apart from the plan to construct toilets, the campaign committee decided to take up new environment friendly ventures. They along with other concerned members of the village visited the villages that had won the award and drew up a sanitation plan with the help of the government officials. The layout of the gutters and the drainage system was scrutinised. It was felt that the outlets from every house connecting to the gutters should be U shaped shallow open tubes so that only water is carried forward and the solid garbage or dirt can be manually removed separately. It was also ensured that the new drainage system did not contaminate the river. The gutter water was diverted to a fallow land which was converted into a fruit farm. Absorption pits to absorb the excess drainage water were also constructed at strategic places. Through the pressure brought about by the SHG women, households began to construct private toilets. To achieve this, women took out a ‘mashal’ campaign in all the places frequented by people to relieve themselves both in the early morning and in the night. Women went in groups with the mashal and flushed out people from all the open defecation points.
Men also followed the suit, with the youth taking the lead. This unique campaign went on for some days. Since using open spaces became difficult, there was a sudden spate of toilet construction. The rallies and IEC material were effectively used to convince people of the importance of toilets. The poor families were helped financially to construct common toilets. The results were positive. There were fines imposed on people defecating in the open. Even the people whose land was being used for open defecation were fined.
In this phase the result of anti liquor campaign taken up in the earlier time were yielding results. Men got into the habit of coming back home in the evening and contributing financially to the household expenses. The Sarpanch and the members realised that there was a need to strengthen the work on the issues affecting women. They decided to resolve all the village conflicts internally – including conflicts having a religious color. A sense of peace prevailed. The committee also decided to specially focus on building up of SHGs. The personal hygiene campaign and the complete stoppage of open defecation spun off one major benefit. The health scenario changed drastically. The effect definitely seemed to have been long term. A visit to the primary health centre and a meeting with the doctor revealed that the total sanitation campaign also resulted in a total health campaign. There have been no major epidemics or seasonal bouts of diseases in the village.
Some unique programmes were taken up at the village level. There was a proposal of painting every home and other buildings in the village in the same color. There were arguments and religious sentiments were used to insist on certain colors. Ultimately a light pink color was proposed as it could be made at home and was inexpensive. Due to Mr. Bhimrao Mane’s personal goodwill, the Muslim youth took the initiative and painted their prayer houses in pink. Taking the cue from them, everyone else followed suit and every structure took on a pink hue. The newly constructed toilets gleamed with the new coat of paint adding to the beautifying efforts at village level. A tree plantation program were taken but here every household was asked to plant four trees each and look after them.
In the year 2002 Kavthepiran won the first rank in the total sanitation campaign at the taluka level and the third place at the district level. The whole village population felt disappointed. At this stage the Sarpanch and other members kept up the spirits of the villagers. Hind Kesari Maruti Mane also started taking interest in the campaign. He galvanised the government machinery at the district level using his political influence. The special funds of the Zilla Parishad and MLA’s funds were released to take up developmental work in the village. The major task of building 24 km long gutters was taken up and completed. The sewage water was reused to develop 24 acres of fallow land. A sanitary mart was also started. The wet garbage and night soil was reused to produce organic fertiliser. Some of the other schemes taken up were vermicompost, NEDAP compost fertiliser etc.
As part of the total sanitation campaign many of the social issues were effectively tackled. To sustain the anti liquor campaign under the leadership of the Sarpanch Bhimrao Mane, many men joined the Bhakti cult called Warkari Sampraday where every member wears a string of beads, signifying a pledge to give up all addictions and also become vegetarian for life. This had a direct impact on the yearly religious festival where animal sacrifice was practiced by many households. The consumption of liquor also used to increase during these festival days. The campaign committee – with full support from the women in the village, persuaded all the village population to give up the practice of animal sacrifice. This effort also met with success.
It was very interesting to see that the complex issue of family planning also picked up during this campaign spanning three years. The difference in this family planning campaign was that the men underwent vasectomy – led by the Sarpanch. This was a big step in bringing confidence and sense of relief to many women, who were struggling to tackle this issue amicably.
All the Hindu families of the village decided to install only one symbolic statue of god Ganesh during Ganpati festival. This helped in reducing the amount of expenses and also the pollution of the river due to the immersion of a number of statues. The sole Ganpati idol was also decided to be immersed in a specially created water tank and the used festive flowers were added to the compost pits.
In the year 2003 along with all the above mentioned activities the whole month of October was utilised to build up the tempo in the village. Every single day of this month, a progamme was implemented. In this month every household including the Muslim community households, drew rangoli patterns in front of their house and also put up “GUDI” the traditional symbol of the new year.( A stick with a colorful cloth with an upside down pot is tied like a flag in front of the house).The village wore a special look with children dressed up in neat uniforms for the schools, where even the anganwadi children were dressed in the uniforms . The tempo reached the crescendo when the village was at last declared as the ‘Open Defecation Free’ first ranker at the state level, in the total sanitation campaign .
Although right from the first day of my visit, I could see evidence of the success of the total sanitation campaign and the story of the transformation in the Sarpanch was repeated several times, my focus was different. I was searching for the glimpses of empowerment among women. The women members of the gram sabha eloquently pointed out salient features of the campaign but I was looking for the subjective gains for them. As the ice broke and the women seemed to have grasped my quest they opened up. The diminutive Mangal tai who was also the member of the earlier gram panchayat did not hesitate to take the women members to the task for not questioning the flow of funds in the panchayat or for not being assertive. She wanted the women members to be independent of the men and the overwhelming presence of the erstwhile Sarpanch. I again met Yashoda bai the owner of the ‘matching centre,’ the cloth shop in the village. She turned out to be designer in her own right. She had received training for stitching rexine and cloth bags. She showed me some bags specially designed for various purposes which were selling like hot cakes. Her friends from the Self Help Group she belonged to told me that the common loan received by them through the bank was unanimously decided to be given to Yashoda to start this shop. The logic was that if the amount received was divided, individual members will not receive any substantial amount. Their entrepreneurship qualities were being reflected through Yashoda’s venture. I also was intrigued to listen to women’s groups narrating the events from the campaign. There was a sense of triumph and a glimpse of hard earned confidence gained after making the village liquor free. One woman member I met in the gram panchayat, met me again on the second day in the anganwadi. She had come to deliver food items required for the anganwadi. She proudly told me that her SHG has taken the contract of providing nutritious food to the anganwadi. She added that she prefers personally delivering the food as she can also observe the working of the anganwadi as a panchayat member.
The real change in the lives of these women was aptly captured by the present woman Sarpanch Jakhale. She narrated how her husband’s parents had rebuked her when she went to the school to pick up her daughter a decade ago. There was invisible purdah and women were expected to be indoors all the time. She shared with me that her urge to form an SHG had lead her to collect her own women relatives to form a Self Help Group. The campaign activities of Self Help Groups helped her to come out in the open and bring many of her dreams to reality. Both of her daughters are in hostel studying for the UPSC exams as she wants them to become a collector or government officers. All the women I met, irrespective of their caste or religion were very vocal and expressed a sense of ownership in the pride of place that the village had secured.
Women’s Search for Identity
Given the secondary status of women in a male-dominated society, women have had to struggle to establish their own identity and leadership. In Kavthepiran the entire village gained international identity in the field of wrestling, a very masculine oriented sport. It will be very interesting to trace various dimensions of genuine gender sensitivity linked with women’s empowerment in the program initiated by the government sponsored agencies such as MAVIM and the Water Supply and Sanitation department. Both the agencies in their official commitment are expected to promote women’s participation. We need to understand how these official commitments were transferred into reality. The sanitation program was initiated in Kavthepiran in the year 2001 and the district office of MAVIM was established around the same time. It was a coincidence that in the total sanitation campaign Kavthepiran lost winning being ranked first in that year. There seems to have been a realisation that there needs to be a conscious attempt to ensure participation of women to achieve desirable results. It was only after the mobilisation of women that the Total Sanitation campaign gained strength. The solidarity among women that the movement built helped to fuel the campaign.
The formation of all the ‘All women gram panchayat’ in the year 2005 has facilitated the participation of women in village affairs. Women do not hesitate to come to the panchayat office and are assertive in their demands. One could also see that the development issues which were taken up during the campaign had direct connection to the women’s lives. The day to day pressures and drudgery have been reduced to a large extent. Proper planning in the provision of water connections and the provision of toilets, has helped in creating time and space for the women to concentrate on their higher needs. Realising that many of them were anemic, women began to focus on self care.
The impact of this campaign seems to have affected women both at the personal level and also women as a collective power. There are individual success stories where women have used the supportive atmosphere to excel in their personal life by building their dream house or buying a shop. But women as a collective, are now creating a niche for themselves. They have emerged from the confines of their homes under the patronising, benevolent shadow of the powerful men of the village. But now they seem to be developing their independent identity using the SHG as a support and also the support of the government machinery – which was forced to be pro women due to political and bureaucratic pressures.
The Other Stakeholders
The other players of the campaign, namely the young men, said that they too had gained a great deal from the campaign. Earlier they felt a tremendous pressure to take up addictive habits like consumption of gutkha or consuming alcohol occasionally. The anti- liquor campaign has dealt effectively with these pressures. They also confessed that since their mothers were involved and women were coming on the streets to take up cleanliness tasks, they felt inspired to take a lead in the campaign. The raking out of garbage or building of gutters have been some of the concrete things done by them. They also admitted that constructive programmes and sports are today the mainstay of their life. They spend lot of time in pursuing sports activities and also take the initiative in inculcating love for physical activities among children. They take up daily training and sports activities for children on regular basis.
Miles to Go
Although the whole campaign was able to garner peoples’ participation the Sarpanch Bhimrao Mane still seems to play the role of a benevolent dictator. The enthusiastic response of the village and the women need to be converted into a decentralised decision making mechanism to sustain the momentum. There is a realisation that women can play an effective role in such campaigns, however this power needs to be consciously utilised by women themselves. This will help them to participate effectively in the village governance. The village has never encouraged elections at the panchayat level, thus all the panchayat members are nominated or selected and accepted by the village. There is need to a greater level of democratisation in this process. The SHG can play a role in demanding their own representatives in the panchayat.
Since the Warna river flows close to the village, the village is subjected to frequent floods. The village needs a long term disaster prevention plan. It is also hoped that the gains of the total sanitation campaign are long term and effective. The village Kavthepiran has thrown up lot of challenges and tangible strategies which can be replicated elsewhere. The synergy between all the stake holders and government machinery has yielded excellent results. At the core of the success story has been the close involvement of women through the SHGs in the campaign. But the changes brought about have to be sustained and probably Kavthepiran should concentrate on developing a model for sustainability.
VAIJAYANTA ANAND. Is a Reader at the Nirmala Niketan School of Social Work, Mumbai.