Trichy: City Wide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) Trichy celebrated “sanitary Pongal” with sanitary workers to spread awareness on the importance of personal and public hygiene in Ganesapuram locality under Ponmalai zone of Trichy corporation on Wednesday.

CWIS is a global project for which Trichy was selected as one of the four towns and cities across the nation to improve the existing sanitary infrastructure. Ganesapuram was once an open defecation-prone locality which eradicated it through public participation and behavioural change. CWIS said Ganesapuram was selected for the sanitary Pongal to recognise the remarkable turnaround. With 75% of the residents here being sanitary workers, the objective of the celebration was to encourage the workers to pursue the best sanitary practices. As many of the sanitary workers were found reluctant to use safety gear while on duty, messages promoting its importance in safeguarding lives were conveyed at the celebrations. Competitions such as running race, Uri adi (pot breaking contest) and kolam contest were organised, each incorporating a sanitation aspect.

“In running race, participants have to wash their hands properly before the event started,” organiser Sugantha Priscilla, senior specialist, Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) said. In Uri Adi, sanitary awareness messages were placed inside the pot which the participant had to read out aloud after breaking it with a stick.