chapter  7
Nirmal Gram Puraskar and Sanitation Service Levels: The Curse of Slippage
ByM. SNEHALATHA, V. ANITHA RAJ, P. BUSENNA AND M. VENKATASWAMY
Pages 22

It is estimated that only by building 112,300 toilets every day can India ensure access to toilets for every household (website of the drinking water ministry). India needs to build 78 toilets a minute to meet the MDGs (Ghosh 2011). To meet this demand, the Government of India has allocated more than US$ 250 million – for implementing the programme, and with the involvement of more than 5,000 villages, community contributions have exceeded US$ 215 million (WaterAid 2011). However, majority of these investments are turning out to be dead investments as the intended levels of sanitation services have not been achieved by these villages. The Government of India has introduced an incentive-based (cash prize) programme, ‘Nirmal Gram Puraskar’ (NGP), as part of the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), in October 2003 (see Chapter 2 for details). A ‘Nirmal Gram’ is an ‘Open Defecation Free’ (ODF) village where all houses, schools and anganwadis have sanitary toilets and have raised awareness amongst the community on the importance of maintaining personal and community hygiene and clean environment. This was started with the spirit that an incentive strategy can motivate the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in taking up sanitation promotional activities on priority.