competition for children

competition fo rchildren

competition for children

competition for children

competition for children




Twenty volunteers from Infosys, Ltd. Bangalore visited Gulbarga to help on the Parishudh initiative, a joint initiative of Infosys Foundation Bangalore and Sri Kottala Basaveshwara Bharateeya Shikshana Samithi Sedam, aimed at creating 40 open defecation free villages and helping over 10,000 families in North Karnataka to have a toilet of their own.


The visits were organized at Nandur village in Gulbarga district at Mugul Nagaon in Chittapur Taluk. The team visited over 300 families in these villages explaining them about importance of hygiene and sanitation and it’s co-relation to health, education and overall wellbeing. The team also included 4 lady team members. The team of 20 was divided into 5 groups and with the help of village Panchayat leaders and the team went house to house in groups of 4 people each. The team members spoke fluent Kannada and connected with the men, women and children of the families. Many women who had not realized the importance of proper sanitation so far actively engaged in the discussions and made a resolve to get a toilet constructed at the earliest.


A retired line man of 80 years who is also the head of the household, who had severe knee pain to walk at Mugul Nagaon village, quickly agreed to get a toilet constructed when the team said, “Ajja, you have worked hard all these years. Now don’t you deserve to have a toilet?” He replied, “Please help me get a toilet constructed at the earliest”. The entire house filled with joy and three daughters in law and six grandchildren happily posed for a photograph with the old man who had just given them a gift of proper toilet and hygiene. One could sense the joy on each of these people’s faces.


The story was the same throughout the village. Initially an old lady who refused to get a toilet constructed quickly changed her mind when he heard in detail the advantages of having a toilet. She said, “It is so important. I am also educated till 10th Grade and also have worked as Anganwadi teacher. I can’t realize how and why we have been living like this so long. I will get a toilet constructed right away”.


Another family said, “I will first build a toilet in my house and then I will ask villagers not to use areas near by my house for open defecation. The entire area smells so bad”.


Another family who recently built a toilet recalled that their only son was bit by a snake when he went for open defecation. They were Thankful to God, the son survived. The family immediately got a toilet built.


A girl from very poor family and a not so well built house told Infosys team that she will develop the village first and then her house. The Infosys team was stunned by her resolve and her ambition to develop the village. If this thinking were to come to everyone in the village then there will no underdeveloped village.


It was quite appealing to see the Software Engineers working at Infosys, who otherwise could have spent their weekend at leisure travel 12 hours by train each way and mingle with the people of two villages of Gulbarga district. Some volunteers even accidentally stepped on dirt while walking on the streets, quickly wiped it off but enthusiastically carried out the campaign. One volunteer who was on Aiyappa Vritha did the entire campaign barefoot, participating with the same commitment as that of others.


The visit concluded with an IEC session by Sheshadri Kulkarni for the public of Mugul Nagaon village. Sri Basavaraj Patil Sedam, head of Sri Kottala Basaveshwara Bharateeya Shikshana Samithi spoke on the occasion. He narrated an incident where a women employee of the Samithi said, “It is so unfortunate that men do not have sensitivity to the basic needs of women”. He said, removing the practice of open defecation was essential for the health of the public and wellbeing of the village. He cited examples of villages where these were already done too. He called on patience and persistent effort from both villagers and volunteers to see a visible change in this regard.


Lead by Program Manager of Infosys Foundation Parishudh Initiative, Mr. Vasudev Deshpande, who also happens to be from Gulbarga district and an Alumni of Sri Kottala Basaveshwara Bharateeya Shikshana Samithi Sedam,  the Infosys team included Aditya SN, Mahesh Kumar, Ritesh Ramesh Ageton, Rithesh Kumble, Rachana K G, Geetha S Bhat, Varun Iyengar, Vijay Ramesh Jagirdar, Varun J C, Mahantesh Ankalakoti, MohanKumar BD, B Reddy Sekhar Reddy, Pavan Raj S, Samarth Narayan, Manjunatha K, Solomon Sukumaran, Anupama R, Keerthi Keshavamurthy, Bharati Bidari and Madhusudan Rao. Village leaders Ramesh Kanthi, Vijay Kumar, Veeresh provided guidance to the team. Mugul Nagaon Mutt organized the lunch and hosted the IEC event. Srinivas Deshmukh, Bheemrao Biradar, Shivasharanappa Jettur and others helped organize the event.


It is hoped that such initiatives will bring in a change in mindset related to sanitation in the villages and help make them open defecation free. The next major initiative is competition on hygiene and sanitation for high school students. Communication in this regard has already been sent to all the schools. For additional details, schools are requested to contact Taluka coordinators of Sri Kottala Basaveshwara Bharateeya Shikshana Samithi Sedam or Sri Shivayya Mathpathi at 94801-74622. Those villages interested in having sanitation initiatives taken up in their villages are requested to contact Vasudev Deshpande, Program Manager of the initiative at 97422-04624.



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