Joining forces to improve WASH services in Jaipur

Deepak demonstrating correct handwashing procedure with community members at a handwashing station in Transport Nagar

Deepak was one of 95 men from Slum Development Committees and Youth Forums who joined forces with Single Window Forum members to improve WASH services in Jaipur, including installation of six public hand-washing stations.

Hari Singh and his fellow male members on a Jaipur slum development committee never thought to involve women.

But that all changed after the Single Window Forum (SWF) Community Management Committee (CMC) asked Slum Development Committee and Youth Forum members to help improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in the city.

Hari said: “Our perception on women’s leadership has changed. We now invite SWF members to our monthly meetings and plan everything with them.”

Some 95 men in 17 wards responded to the call to help the SWF in their negotiations with the Urban Local Body municipality to improve WASH services.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the men realised many of their gender did not practice good personal hygiene and take COVID safe measures. They gave hygiene education to 576 men and boys and, with SWF and CMC members, set up six foot-operated public hand-washing stations.

The efforts of the men spread across 25 settlements, from doing household chores, to caring for the elderly and disabled, and becoming part of community dialogues and campaigns.

For some like Deepak, a sanitary worker from Transport Nagar, the partnership with SWF prompted reflection on why less privileged castes were excluded from WASH facilities.

He said: “We can no longer see our family members suffering and the ward meeting gave us the platform to voice our issues. We will work with the community to address them.”

The SWF partnership also encouraged other men and boys to be more protective of women and girls, who routinely risk their safety and privacy using existing WASH facilities.

Water for Women partners with the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) and Research Triangle Institute Global India (RTI India) for the project, Mobilising, facilitating and replicating socially inclusive WASH initiatives in India's urban slums. Through this project, we are reaching some of India’s most at risk people with transformative WASH intervention programs. 

Through Water for Women, Australia is investing AUD118.9m to deliver 33 WASH projects and research initiatives that aim to support 2.9 million people in 15 countries across South Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific. Water for Women is the Australian government's flagship WASH program and is being delivered as part of Australia's aid program over five years, from 2018 to 2022.


Community members participating in a handwashing demonstration by CFARtration A young girl washing her hands at one of the new handwashing stations








Photos: Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR)


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