Urban CLTS: Kalyani shows the way to sustainability

Kalyani is a town 52 kilometres north of Kolkata, a mega-city in the Indian state of West Bengal. Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) was rolled out in the 51 slums of this town in 2005-2006. The programme was implemented under the Kolkata Urban Services for the Poor (KUSP) funded by DFID. The initiative was championed by a team of senior professionals from the Kalyani Municipality and State Urban Development Agency (SUDA) and led by Dr Kamal Kar, Chairman, CLTS Foundation.

The President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the National Urban Water Award-2009 to Shri Shantanu Jha, the Chairman of Kalyani Municipality, in New Delhi on August 13, 2009. The Union Minister of Urban Development, Shri S Jaipal Reddy, the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia and the Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Dr. M. Ramachandran are also seen in the picture.

The President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the National Urban Water Award-2009 to Shri Shantanu Jha, the Chairman of Kalyani Municipality, in New Delhi on August 13, 2009. The Union Minister of Urban Development, Shri S Jaipal Reddy, the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia and the Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Dr. M. Ramachandran are also seen in the picture.

The President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the National Urban Water Award-2009 to Shri Shantanu Jha, the Chairman of Kalyani Municipality, in New Delhi on August 13, 2009. The Union Minister of Urban Development, Shri S Jaipal Reddy, the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia and the Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Dr. M. Ramachandran are also seen in the picture.

The President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the National Urban Water Award-2009 to Shri Shantanu Jha, the Chairman of Kalyani Municipality, in New Delhi on August 13, 2009. The Union Minister of Urban Development, Shri S Jaipal Reddy, the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia and the Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Dr. M. Ramachandran are also seen in the picture.

Dr Shantanu Jha, former Chairman of Kalyani Municipality was awarded the National Urban Water Award by the President of India in 2009

Kalyani was declared the first open defecation free (ODF) town in India in January 29, 2009 and the President of India recognized the success of Kalyani Municipality and awarded its dynamic Chairman Dr Shantanu Jha the National Urban Water Award on August 13, 2009. Dr Kasturi Bakshi of Kalyani Municipality and Dr Shibani Goswami of State Urban Development Agency also played a major role in Kalyani’s success and were instrumental in disseminating the Kalyani experience at various national and international platforms.
This April, a team from CLTS Foundation visited Kalyani after eight years were excited to see that despite having three different Chairmen in the eight-year period, politics did not adversely affect the sustainability of the CLTS programme.

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From (L to R): Mr Dipankar Chakraborty,Head Clerk, Kalyani Municipality;  Mr Sushil Kumar Talukdar, Chairman, Kalyani Municipality; Dr Kamal Kar, Chairman, CLTS Foundation and Dr Kasturi Bakshi, former Health Officer, Kalyani Municipality 

The people were using the toilets, practicing handwashing and they ensured no one in the community practices open defecation. In their second visit on July 8, 2015, the CLTS Foundation met Mr Sushil Kumar Talukdar, Chairman of the Municipality, who welcomed the idea of working together with the CLTS Foundation in order to take the Kalyani story forward.

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With the residents of ODF Harijanpally, Kalyani

The team also met the community members and natural leaders of the various ODF colonies. Bikash Mondal, the most charismatic among the natural leaders informed that a lot of households in his colony have moved up the sanitation ladder. They have improved the quality of their toilets and some have added features like a shower, coloured floor tiles, decals on the toilet doors, etc. Thus, the success of Kalyani provides valuable insights into the Urban CLTS experience, which is an upcoming research area in the CLTS domain.

Date: July 7, 2015

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