The magic ‘MANTRA’ of MCL’s sanitation project set to transform tribal lives

Sambalpur: Conceived in 2018, the CSR project of providing toilet-bathroom with water supply in 375 tribal houses benefitting 1670 people in five hamlets of Sundargarh (3) and Jharsuguda (2) is in final stage of completion.

Living by its name ‘MANTRA’ (Movement & Action Network for Transformation of Rural Areas), the project possesses innovative features like households contributing in the form of labour and building material & agreeing to create corpus for inclusion of new households in future and village committee to look after maintenance.

The project is being implemented by ‘Gram Vikas’, a non-profit which carries more than four decades of experience in rural community development in tribal dominated areas of Odisha.

With completion of toilet-bathrooms, water supply infrastructure is presently being developed, which includes borewell/dugwell, overhead water tank, pump house, pipeline and electrification.

The developmental statistics of selected five villages gives a glimpse of the need and spirit of the intervention:
1. 95% households belong to SC/ST/OBC
2. 56% households are marginal farmers (< 2.5 acre). Another 30% are small farmers (2.5-5 acre)
3. 42% belong to BPL
4. Villages do not have a PHC/CHC. Nearest health centre is at GP or Block level
5. Villages were not included in any water supply scheme

The project is in consonance with Sustainable Development Goals where Goal no. 6 speaks about clean water and sanitation.

The beneficiaries deserve accolades for accepting participative approach and adopting behavioural changes which are the core attributes of success of the project.

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