Setting a "Model" Example

Cummins dedicated significant efforts in local infrastructure development towards making Nandal a Model Village.

Background

Cummins identified Nandal, located 5 Kms from the Megasite, Phaltan, Maharashtra as one of the neediest village in the vicinity of the Megasite. A community driven six-sigma project was launched to address the sanitation requirement of the village and also provide holistic development to the village. Nandal had various problems to be tackled- scarcity of water and sanitation, lack of livelihood development, low productivity of agriculture, lack of proper infrastructure and education.

Approach and Effort

Cummins embarked on the root cause of driving cleanliness by constructing household toilets in sustaining basic sanitation for the village. Conservation of water was another important focus area that needed to be tackled immediately.

The present sanitation conditions highlighted the following-

  • Nandal had 208 individual toilets at the household level and 4 common toilets to cater to 578 households (approximately).
  • Most of the families did not have access to any toilet. They resorted to open defecation
  • In some cases, individual toilets were non-functional whereas the public toilets had been destroyed
  • Inadequate Drainage facility- cesspits of waste water could be seen in many places
  • Proximity of waste water pools near the bore wells and public water taps could lead to contamination of drinking water.

A team from Cummins visited the village and conducted door to door surveys at 8 hamlets of the village. Construction of cost-effective toilets (which would use less water) for the chosen beneficiaries and generation of awareness on the usage & maintenance were identified as the solution. In addition to Cummins' contribution in the construction of individual toilets, each household also had to pool in some amount. Proper analysis was undertaken to determine the correct technology for the construction of the toilets, which would enable proper flushing out of excreta into the septic tank with minimal usage of water. Space constraint was also addressed effectively.

Conservation of water was also important. A team from Cummins conducted meetings with gram-panchayats and villagers to discuss a sustainable plan. Visits from senior Cummins leadership at the site also reinforced Cummins' commitment towards the projects being undertaken at Nandal. The villagers got more involved in these developmental activities and formed teams with Cummins officials in initiating dialogues with various Government bodies in bringing Government schemes beneficial to the villagers.

During summers, due to scarcity of rainfall and paucity of drinking water, Cummins supplied 56,000 litres of drinking water to the villagers. Along with the Government, Cummins employees chalked out an alternate plan of constructing a cement check dam that would conserve and store sufficient water for future intake and usage. Cummins provided funding and worked with the Taluka Agriculture Department to get the bund constructed. This initiative will lead to water storage for villagers and result in well water recharge for drinking and agriculture.

Resulting Change

The constructed toilets were handed over to villagers in May 2012. Villagers, who were previously resorting to open defecation, now started using toilets thereby creating a clean environment. It brought dignity to the village women who had to go to the fields at wee hours only for this activity. Elderly and the sick could now use these toilets at their convenience. In addition, it got a huge change in the way the previous technology & design of toilets laid in the cleaning and maintenance process. The new designs of toilets needed minimum maintenance and less water as compared to existing designs which consumed 4-6 litres of water. The one-pit designed toilet also generated manure by virtue of the technology which could be used later for agricultural crops.

Initially, the wells and percolation tanks in the village failed to retain surface water during monsoon, due to leakage and other factors. The construction of this check dam will not only store water during the monsoon, but also will raise the water table in the vicinity, thus bringing a change in the cultivation and irrigation of land.

cummins executives meeting with girls in india school
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