On 11 May 22024, IIHS-TNUSSP hosted a felicitation programme to celebrate the contributions of sanitation service providers who played a key role in TNUSSP’s Community and Public Toilets (CT/PTs) demonstration project. In response to the deteriorating conditions of many CT/PTs in Chennai, the Tamil Nadu government and Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), with the support of TNUSSP, initiated a demonstration project in Zones 13 and 14 in the year 2022. The project came to an end this March. 

P V Srinivasan, Zonal Officer, Zone 14, GCC, inaugurated the programme and delivered the keynote address. During the welcome address, it was highlighted that during the two-year project, which involved private enterprises, women self-help groups, and individual entrepreneurs, the CT/PTs served over 3.25 million users, with digital feedback indicating a 94% satisfaction rate. Daily users increased from 2,687 to 6,788, and the number of women users doubled.

The dedication of the sanitation workers, who maintained high standards despite challenging conditions, was key to this success. Their efforts fostered community trust and hygiene education. The success of SHG-maintained toilets has led to continued support from GCC and plans for city-wide scaling.

The event was attended by over 80 participants, including 26 sanitation workers, 21 ALF/SHG members, their families, officers from GCC Zones 13 and 14, National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) staff, IIHS-TNUSSP team members, and media representatives. The special guest, Mr Sabarinathan, a television personality, entertained the participants with his witty conversation and felicitated them by presenting mementos and gifts. The programme included games and entertainment, ensuring a memorable time for all attendees.

The event received coverage from both print and television media. Participants shared their experiences over the past two years, expressing pride in contributing to public health by maintaining clean and safe toilets and improving their livelihoods. The programme concluded with a fellowship lunch.