Member Profile: Himmothan Pariyojana

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Referred By
Coastal Salinity Prevention Cell | Status: Approved
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Villages taken up for interventions by the Tata Trusts
In 2001 the Trusts initiated the Himmothan Pariyojana (HMP) programme to work on rural development issues in Uttarakhand, in collaboration with the state government of Uttarakhand, as formalized by a MoU between the two in 2004, for a period of ten years. One of the first programmes to be initiated was a large scale water and sanitation programme (WATSAN) which would bring drinking water to villages with the most severe scarcity, coupling it with a hundred percent sanitation coverage of the village. It was decided that the drinking water schemes would only be gravity schemes (bringing water from a higher source, usually a fresh water spring through a pipeline to the village using only gravity, that is, no use of electricity and pumping), and the sanitation units would be simple, adapted to local usage and long term sustainability. The project is implemented on the ground by local Non-Profits and monitored by a team of external experts and the Himmotthan Society. Villagers are brought together in ‘Management Societies,’ which have the role of operation and management of the schemes.

Till date, about 150 villages have, or are in the process of being provided with drinking water schemes and individual household sanitation through the programme. Informally known as ‘Tata Gaon (villages)’ amongst the villagers, the schemes stand out from similar government schemes in quality, durability and in the fact that local villagers are strongly involved in developing and maintaining the systems, through these ‘Management Societies’. Work is ongoing in another 50 villages. The process includes identification of villages in each district – developing a village list, for which proposals are invited from villages, which are then nominated by HMP partner organizations based in the field. Villages are vetted for several indicators before inclusion, including scarcity, distance of source stream from village, year round flows in source stream, participation of villagers, conflict identification, etc. The finalized list is then approved by a District Magistrate headed district committee (the DLCC or the District Level Steering Committee). Approved lists from all districts are then placed at the annual State Level Steering Committee (SLSC) headed by the Chief Secretary of the state for final approval. Over the years, the State Government has given all possible aid towards timely implementation of the project.

Date Founded 2007-05-10
Primary Focus Drinking Water - Community
Secondary Focus Capacity Building
History of Water Projects
Related work not on PWX.

Since 2002, HMP has completed drinking water schemes and total sanitation (building of sanitation units/ toilets in every house) in 90 villages over two phases. A total of 157 piped schemes for water (over 400 kilometers of pipe laying) and 3,119 sanitation units were constructed. These two phases covered a total of 5,001 households (approximately 25,000 individuals). Phase three of this programme was initiated this year, with 50 new villages. The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has partly funded the second phase of the programme, while community contribution is at least 10% in cash, usually more.
Standard, global impact assessment indicators for WATSAN programmes include distance travelled and time saved in fetching water; change in water availability (volume) and quality; use frequency of the constructed sanitation units; inculcation of / or change in sanitary habits of the population; change in health related expenses and increase of other productive activities in the village, as a direct result of this programme. An impact study of the first phase by an external agency in 2009 showed positive results in all aspects of the programme. Although water quality is not as serious an issue in the mountains as it is in the plains, chlorination systems are well maintained by the majority of Management Societies. Water availability had increased by 55 liters per day per family, women barely have to walk for water as the pipelines reached the villages, time spent in collection went down from 5 hours a day to less than an hour. Most women stated that the time and energy saved in fetching water gave them the chance to spend more time with their children and to cultivate a vegetable garden (which is entirely a woman’s task), ensuring them an annual income of about Rs. 1,800. Annual expenditure of families on health care was down by almost 80%, the use of toilets and hand washing was up to almost 100 percent.

Organization Background

Background: Historically, drinking water supply in the rural areas in India has been outside the government’s sphere of influence. Community managed open wells, irrigation reservoirs and natural springs have often been the main traditional sources of rural drinking water. The Government of India’s effective role in the rural drinking water supply sector started in 1972, with the launch of Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP). Since then, inspite of collective efforts of the State and Central Governments, coupled with huge investments of about Rs. 726 billion in the rural water supply sector under both State and Central Plans upto 2009 in India , merely 57% of the country’s rural population has access to adequate supply of safe drinking water. The sanitation situation is even worse, with less than 14% of the rural population having access to sanitary latrines. Hand washing is also very limited, leading to spread of disease.

The scenario is far worse in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh which consist of sparsely populated clusters. Rudimentary infrastructure for the provision of safe drinking water is still absent in many parts of the hilly regions. The provision of drinking water is being looked after by the Jal Nigam and the Jal Sansthan in Uttarakhand and by Irrigation and Public Health (IPH) Department in Himachal Pradesh. Many evaluations show that schemes lie unfinished or non-functional. In places where services have been provided, the beneficiary communities do not pay for inadequate / sub-standard services, resulting in service utilities becoming financially unsustainable.

In 2006, only half of Uttarakhand’s rural population had access to clean and safe drinking water . 78% of its rural areas are without sanitation facilities . Water and sanitation are inextricably associated with each other; water acts as a lynchpin in defining the status of sanitation, in the absence of which people fall prey to fatal diseases and put themselves into the vicious circle of abject poverty. The condition vis-à-vis water and sanitation in Himachal Pradesh is more or less identical. Hence, diligent efforts are needed to obviate the problem. The issue is very much important since one of the Millennium Development Goals is to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

The Trust’s Himalayan Development Programme – Himmothan Pariyojana: In 2001, the Trust initiated the Himmothan Pariyojana (HMP), to focus on the causes of rural poverty in the central Himalayan regions of the country. Major areas of the programme include livelihoods through farm and non-farm / forest based activities, livestock and market development, sustainable water availability, sanitation and natural resource management. In 2005, following recommendations of a strategic plan, a state based Cell was set up to develop, coordinate and monitor the programme. In December 2007, this Cell was registered as the ‘Himmothan Society’ (Himmotthan) under the Society Act 1860. Apart from monitoring, evaluating and handholding for the HMP programmes, Himmotthan’s mandate includes idea incubation via pilot projects, up-scaling strategies for successful pilots, data base management, studying and linking to government schemes and programmes, liaisoning and fund raising.

The Trust has made a successful foray in Uttarakhand through village-level drinking water supply and environmental sanitation projects, which have improved community health. These projects are being implemented through village based water supply and sanitation committees, known as Management Societies, which plan, implement and manage their own schemes. The interventions have been divided into three phases, namely, “Pre-planning”, “Planning” and “Implementation cum O&M”.

During 2002-07 (PHASE 1) the Trust had partnered with four organisations. Interventions covered 43 villages, benefitting 2,773 households. A total of 89 drinking water schemes and 1,442 sanitation units were installed. The PHASE 2 (2007-11) of the water and sanitation projects under Himmothan Pariyojana also involved four partnering organisations and covered 47 villages, benefiting 2,228 households. A total of 68 drinking water schemes and 1,677 sanitation units were completed, through a grant of Rs. 182.74 million (Trust’s share being Rs. 122.72 million, with the rest equally divided between Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the community).

Annual Water and Sanitation Budget
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Annual Non-Water
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Last Updated: 30 Nov, 2011 (about 7 years ago)

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