Over 350 people working for community management and cleanliness were felicitated today for their efforts towards improving sanitation facilities in 13 settlements across Delhi which are likely to be declared 'Adarsh Bastis'. Senior officials of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), municipal corporations and civil society leaders felicitated 381 representatives for their work which improved access to quality sanitation facilities in the settlements in south, south-west, east and north-east Delhi. The event was organised by the Centre for Advocacy and Research and the Mahila Pragati Manch. Senior Engineer of Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), who is also one of the architects of the programme, said that without community participation, the DUSIB cannot go beyond constructing toilets and strengthening infrastructure. "The contribution of the community under the leadership of the women in managing sanitation services is not only path-breaking and the settlements are not ready to be declared as model bastis, but have the potential to be scaled up across the JJ clusters," he said. Announcing the inauguration of a 'She' toilet in Vikaspuri, he urged the CMC members to "ensure the management of these toilets and train the community representatives in all these settlements including Vikaspuri." Deputy Commissioner, EDMC, Atique Ahmed urged community forums and groups to take over the management of the community toilet complex and assured budgetary and logistical support. Explaining the entire endeavour, Akhila Sivadas, Executive Director of CFAR stated the efforts made by the community committees and groups were significant in many ways as these demonstrated their ability to bring together their demand for basic right to sanitation services as well as assume responsibility for managing the services and adopting many levels of behavior change.
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