Safe sanitation and water to every household: Odisha shows the way

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

Dalimba Jani collects water from the third water tap, near the kitchen, in her house in Kandha Tirigocha village in Ganjam district. Photo Credits: Ajaya Behera/Gram Vikas

Long before the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan promised full sanitation coverage of households, thousands of villages in remote Odisha had done unprecedented work on WASH (Water-Sanitation and Hygiene) through their institutions of self-governance.

This has been made possible with the perseverance and commendable work of the civil society organisation, Gram Vikas (GV) led by Joe Madiath. Joe has spent over 30 years working with the poorest communities in Odisha. Drawn there in 1971 to help communities ravaged by a cyclone in the region, he stayed on as an activist and focused on sustainable development projects. GV was founded in 1979. Today it has grown into one of the largest non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Eastern India working on a v