National Institute of Women Child & Youth Development is implementing “WASH initiatives” as one
of the focussed intervention under the program with the support of HCL foundation in slum areas of
Nagpur. Under WASH initiatives, the activities are awareness on health & sanitation, construction of
household toilets, waste management and effectively converting bio – degradable solid waste into
manure or soil nutrients. The targeted beneficiaries are women having homogenous social and
economic background. Creating awareness on the important of personal hygiene was one of the
focus of this program. Bringing small changes in our routine activity will have unexpected positive
impacts in the health of individual and family. This time, in the community life centre (CLC) of Shanti
Nagar, Mrs. Jayashree Bharadwaj from Indian Institute of Youth Welfare as the resource person had
demonstrated simple activities through puppetry for bringing “Behaviour changes in community”.
When we talk about changing the behaviour, people refrain to take action because, the behaviour is
something like a result of a long time mental process that happens through the impact of various
internal and external factors. Sudden change in behaviour of a person or a section of community is
not going to happening overnight because prejudices and stigma attached to certain things are
embedded in their minds. Community level sensitisation programmes and the medium we adopt in
such programme have equal importance. As social beings, it is not uncommon in human life that we
often fail to prioritise certain things in our life, when it becomes a routine, chances are there to have
its impacts in our physical and psychological wellbeing. The importance of behaviour change is once
again emphasised here.
In many rural areas, when the concept of household toilet was introduced decades ago, the people
were little bit refrain to accept it because by introducing household toilet, we were trying to bring
changes in their behaviour. Later when they realised about the positive aspects of using household
toilet and its long term benefits on health and human dignity, they accepted the concept and came
forward to sensitise their fellow citizens on it.
The session itself is a different experience for the women because of the medium selected by the
facilitator to sensitise the participants in an interesting one. It was more interactive and almost all
the participant had shared their personal experience in life by bringing small changes and its larger
impacts on their personal life and community.