Case Study: Sanitation and women's health outcomes

This case study focuses on the impact of sanitation on women's health outcomes within the context of rapid urbanising spaces, specifically looking at Kalyani, a municipal town, 65 km north of Kolkata in West Bengal.  It seeks to collect evidence on whether and how access to sanitation can improve women's health outcomes and explores the different linkages between these.  This will be achieved by taking the case of Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS), which has had considerable success globally in realising the sanitation targets.  Kalyani was declared as the first open defecation free (ODF) town in India, having adopted the CLTS approach in early 2006.

Exploring specific linkages between improved sanitation access and changes in women's health outcomes and changed gender relations in Kalyani municipality will contribute greatly in understanding the social and institutional factors associated with women's health and sanitation in an urban context. Wider lessons around how to mainstream gender and health concerns will also be useful for CLTS and other sanitation approaches. [download case study .pdf 2.4Mb]

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The beginning of an end to open defecation

By Rina Mukherji, The Hindu, March 18, 2016

In April 2015, Nadia was declared the first open defecation-free district in India. Two more districts in West Bengal — Hugli and Burdwan, and Bikaner in Rajasthan quickly followed Nadia’s act. Here is the story of how the beginning was made in the slums of Kalyani Municipality.

Only a decade ago, Harijan Pally was one of the dirtiest parts of Kalyani Municipality in Nadia district, West Bengal. “People who ever came here on work, would hold their noses; it made us feel so ashamed,” recalls Suresh Bansfor, a resident.

Home to largely Dalits from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, besides a few other families from Odisha, the 9.26-acre Harijan Pally was overrun by open defecation. Few houses here had toilets, so the residents — daily wage-earners, as also central and state government Class III and Class IV employees among them — used the grounds around the slum instead.