Converging with a local loan scheme to build a sanitation facility

Mrs. Surekha Suresh Rathod belongs to Ghatana village located some 30 kilometers from Yavatmal. While working with women like her in this village, the need for household sanitation facilities and bathrooms was felt. They did not like having to travel distances for defecations and preferred the comfort of a household block. However, financing the cost of construction of such a structure has always loomed large and prevented them for moving forward.

The Jankalyan scheme of Vidarbha Kshetriya Gramin Bank, within whose service area Ghatana fell was a perfect source of meeting the requirements of these women. They were not only providing a loan for construction of sanitation facilities, but also purchase of solar lanterns. To meet the precursors of the bank, the women were organized into four Joint Liability Groups of four members each. The determination among the women to construct these toilets was such that each of them contributed the mandatory beneficiary contribution – 20 percent of the support amount.

Individually having deposited Rs 8,000/- with the bank, each of these women received the 1st installment under the scheme. Guided by the team they are now proud owners of a combined toilet and bathroom complex. Having judiciously utilized the amount received from their 1st installments, 16 such complexes can be observed in their village. They no longer have to defecate in the open.

Regularly repaying their monthly installment of Rs 500/-, they are hopeful of receiving the final installment from the bank, from which they will purchase a solar lantern.  Construction of these toilets is good example where determination and financial support can culminate in improving rural areas. They represent examples from the field of the much spoken about ‘Convergence’ approach.

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