All Women’s Team of LEAD Students Conduct Drive that Constructs 1,775 Toilets in Villages

Addressing a national challenge in India to implement accessible toilets across the country, three young women students helped spearhead an effort to increase hygiene awareness and build toilets in their community. As part of the Deshpande Foundation LEAD program in their college, Sowjanya Pattankudi, Deepika Lokare and Deepali Bhosale, from the AA Patil College of Arts and Commerce for Women, Chikodi initially identified four villages to execute their plans. Despite initial resistance in the community, they were able to create a group of 30 young women, organize rallies, conduct door to door surveys and work with the Gram Panchayat and development officers to convince villagers about the importance of constructing and using toilets. Their efforts resulted in the construction of 1,775 toilets in the four villages. Shivanand A Desai, Ex-Panchayat Development Officer of Jainapur, is all praises for this girl gang – “All these girls made our job easier by taking these initiatives”. Read their complete story here.