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Oracle and CDD Society tie up to make Devanahalli ODF++

It’s common knowledge know that India is on a path to end open defecation. Efforts towards the same started full swing in 2014, when on the 2nd of October, the prime minister launched the Clean India campaign – a campaign that seeks to make the country open defecation free by October 2, 2019, as a fitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary Ever since, over 3 crore toilets have been built but of course there is a long way to go – given the size of the country and the scale of the problem.

In April 2017, Oracle Corporation USA joined in on these efforts after recognising our FSM efforts in Devanahalli i.e. efforts of working closely with Devanahalli’s Town Municipal Council (TMC) to setup a FSTP that lies at the heart of an end-to-end FSM solution for the town .

The challenge to make Devanahalli open defecation-free (ODF), a next natural step for the town, is what we have taken up along with Oracle. In this endeavour, Oracle has provided us with a CSR grant to close the current toilet gap in Devanahalli. Between SBM applications and this grant, the last couple of hundred toilets that the town lacks will be built.

Once these toilets are built, Devanahalli will not only be ODF, but ODF+, thanks to the FSTP that is already functioning, enabling safe treatment and disposal of faecal sludge in the entire town. The town would hence serve as a great example of the local government and community working together to establish safe sanitation practices and infrastructure where the traditional option of constructing and connecting toilets to a sewerage network was not feasible.

While Devanahalli like situations may not hold for other towns, what the success of this model would provide to others is an insight into how the ULB proactively went about mobilizing councillors and community to bring them onboard; that it is possible to have options other than sewage networks and sewage treatment when you don’t have enough water; that maximising on the already existing infrastructure septic tanks and pits can help us move up the sanitation ladder faster; and that even in big cities, FSTPs can be a solution for uncovered areas.

The toilet building activity is currently on, in full swing. Watch this space for more updates.