SSP seeks to enable low income families – especially women and girls in rural Maharashtra to reduce vulnerability to infections and other water borne diseases. SSP over the years have been leveraging women as entrepreneurs and leaders (Sakhis) who are selected from within rural low income communities. Sakhis play a key role as community sanitation ambassadors – in their communities together with fostering relationships with the local governing bodies to access subsidies.
Through Sakhis, we build awareness on WASH practices among underserved communities and promote safe – affordable household drinking water solutions and custom-built, prefabricated toilets for individual households in rural India.
WHAT WE DO
- Builds awareness on good sanitation practices, waste water management, and menstrual management and personal hygiene
- Generates demand and creates a market for WASH products in the community- Income opportunity for Sakhis to earn from product margins
- Tracks and assesses the sanitation status in villages to plug the gap in demand and supply of WASH products – particularly toilet units
- Provides access to government subsidies to the communities
- Promote cleaner, healthier villages that are free of open defecation
COMPONENTS OF THE PROGRAM
Entrepreneurship Education Program
SSP has been successful in empowering rural women as Sakhis or women entrepreneurs in the villages. The Sakhis become a part of the last mile rural distribution network, Sakhi Unique Rural Enterprise Network (SURE), social enterprise promoted by SSP. Together with the support of SSP and SURE, Sakhis are able to generate awareness, provide affordable solutions around WASH and other socially relevant products in the village communities. This provides Sakhis opportunities to earn an additional income.
Demand Creation: Awareness campaigns in villages
Sakhis lead customized community group meetings for women, girls and men, apart from campaigns in schools to build general awareness on good sanitation practices. These campaigns educate participants on basic WASH issues such as safe drinking water, use of toilets, waste water management, and other hygiene practices.
Sakhis campaigns encourage communities on healthy sanitation practices and create new markets for these fabricated toilet units.
Access to ready to install pre-fabricated toilet units and other affordable WASH solutions
SSP has designed and developed affordable pre-fabricated toilets for the rural communities that are easy to install. Sakhis constantly follow up with the beneficiaries and provide guidance on maintenance of these toilets.
Together with it, Sakhis further offer basket of other products such as water filters, sanitary pads, mediclore and more.
Sakhi: A Network and Community Leader
SSP’s Sakhi networks collaborate with local gram panchayats to make sanitation programs work most effectively at the village level. The aim is to help community members avail the government subsidies to install prefabricated toilets at their homes. These collaborations also help Sakhis to identify households that have no toilets. Together with their team, Sakhis assess the sanitation status of the villages and work with the gram panchayats to link underserved and marginalized households to government subsidy.
SSP promotes the “Healthy Household” project, an initiative in partnership with PATH, bundling a number of products – a ready to use toilet, water filter, advanced (smokeless) cook stove, solar lanterns and biomass pellet bags – to the rural households. We have executed this project since 2014, to offer an innovative consumer finance scheme to purchase the combination of bundle products. The highlight of the packages is the convenient credit option and easy repayment schedule.
Our partner in this program, PATH, is an international non-profit organization driving innovations for health equity, and also working on personal hygiene and sanitation.
- Over 1550 prefabricated toilets installed across 30 villages in Maharashtra
- More than 30,000 community members across 6000 households are aware on hygiene practices, access to toilets and safe drinking
OPPORTUNITY FOR PARTNERSHIPS
SSP seeks support from partners to establish the last mile network of WASH (Water and Sanitation for Health) entrepreneurs and to create an ecosystem for safe drinking water and sanitation services in communities. This ecosystem will be created and executed by Sakhis at the grassroots levels.
- Sandvik Asia Private Limited
- Alfa Laval
- SECO Tools
- Yes Bank
SSP has also received support from NABARD, Habitat for Humanity India and Yunus Social Business fund to further our work in community sanitation.