Seven decades after the birth of a free India, we see 50% of people in the country facing a sanitation crisis. Rural Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu is one of such areas where people have very little to no access to private toilets, forcing them to resort to open defecation. As a result, they face a higher risk of exposure to infection, snake-bites and sexual assault, particularly in the case of women and children. Furthermore, the situation is aggravated for residents with ailments such as Arthritis.
Guardian is an organization that has been working in this region to spread awareness and provide financial support for rural families to build toilets at home. It is India's first and only microfinance institution with an exclusive focus on water and sanitation. Empowered by this drive, hundreds of mothers have come forward, sought these sanitation loans, and built toilets for their families. These women have been able to repay their loan from the savings on medical bills that would have piled on if it was not for these safe sanitation facilities. They now enjoy better health, productivity, and a good amount of savings.
Despite these measures, there are scores of underprivileged women, children, and families in rural Tiruchirappalli for whom a simple act of relieving themselves is fraught with the risks arising from open defecation. They are looking for a similar chance to fix their own sanitation crisis and uplift their living conditions. Milaap, through its partnership with Guardian, is going to facilitate loans to these women and their families to help them gain access to safe and hygienic sanitation and a life of dignity.
Local partner Milaap provides a loan to Guardian which must be repaid within 24 months.