VELLORE: Pudhu Vazhvu Thittam (PVT) launched an ambitious project to provide toilets to as many as 22,301 village households in five blocks - Gudiyattam, Pernambut, Madhanur, Alangayam and Timiri.
Project manager, S K Sampathkumar, told Express that these five blocks have been identified for lacking toilet facilities and the project in association with the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA)would extend financial support to construct leach-pit model toilets. While PVT would provide a loan assistance of Rs 4,500, the DRDA would extend another Rs 7,500 in the form of material and labour to keep the cost of toilet at Rs 12,000 per household. Individual households will have to repay the loan amount in ten instalments, he added.
Sampathkumar said that the toilet programme has received a good response from the rural households in all the five blocks. Out of the 22,301 households we have received applications from 17,126 households so far and the balance of households would be covered by this month end.
The project has already provided loan assistance to 4,102 households in the past four months. Of these 1,200 households have completed construction work. “We are planning to cover all 22,000 plus households in the next four year period,” he added.
The design, construction and loan repayment would be monitored by the Village Poverty Eradication Committees (VPEC) . In addition, the project has appointed community professionals in all the 207 villages to assist VPEC in monitoring the toilet project.
The PVT has also formed 17 cluster villages in the project area where common livelihood federations have been formed for organic farming. Around 300 women farmers have been brought together and are being encouraged to cultivate vegetables, small millets, he said adding necessary training was being provided to these women farmers with the help of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Pallikonda. The project has also provided modern farming equipment at a cost of Rs 30 lakh to the common livelihood federation that would rent the equipment for use by the members of the federation at a nominal cost.
In a first, the project will also be providing a tamarind processing unit for the women farmers of Alangayam area where tamarind cultivation is abundant.
He said that the district collector gave away loan assistance of Rs 2.56 lakh to 61 households for the construction of households toilets, Rs 3.64 crore bank loans for the 5,000 plus women SHGs for income generation activities, besides 3 power tillers and 21 power sprayers to the common livelihood federation on Monday.