Saunda Project

Gaon Mera: Village Saunda

Gaon Mera is a  community development project implemented in partnership with CAF India.  Implemented in village Saunda, District Ghaziabad, U.P. the project focussed on improving the quality of community life through  infrastructural improvement and resource enrichment for local people.

We worked in 4 thematic areas:  WASH, Education, Health and  Community Engagement across 3 phases of project implementation. The interventions made under the project were as under:


  •  Revival of Community Water Body:

The  water body in the village was highly polluted and was a breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies. Spread over 1000 Sq Ft, area, it  was in dire need for revival and rejuvenation.

Water Body: A Dump yard!

We undertook a three steps process to rejuvenate the water body – 1. Cleaning and discharge of stagnant water,  2. Recharge of Ground water and 3. Construction of side walls around the water body.  Heavy machinery was used for the cleaning purpose. A system to recharge the ground water was installed. The side walls were built to avoid influx of garbage into the water body.

The Rejuvenated Water Body

The water body caters to around 1000 families living around in that area.  The clean water in the water body would avoid the occurrence of water borne diseases in the area which would have a positive impact on the health status of the people living there.

  • No to Open Defecation

The village grappled with the problem of open defecation.  The children, young girls, women and old people used open grounds for defecation, which often landed them in unsafe and hostile situations.

Sarita, a young woman had gone into fields for defecation. A snake came out of the bushes and bit her on the foot. She was in pain and was treated for the poisonous snake bite. Such instances were common but with no option available at home, people used open fields for defecation……

Responding to the felt need for sanitation facility, we surveyed in the community and found that around  93 households had no toilet at home. Out of the total, we selected 50 households on 5 point criterion of selection based on presence of women, young girls, children, old members and  physically challenged members in the family. These categories of people are vulnerable and face the drudgery of going out in open at odd hours. The household owner had to provide a patch of land within the house complex where we had set up the entire toilet facility for their use.

A Household Sanitary Unit

We broadly followed the Govt. of India guidelines on measurements of toilet building However within the given cost, we slightly extended the size to make it more user friendly. A water tank was installed for availability of water in the toilet. A small size washbasin was put up outside the toilet for washing the hands after use. The feedback from people was quite positive and welcoming since the toilet was a long time need of the people.

Sanitation facilities were also provided in Government Primary School situated within the village.  The school toilets were in a bad condition. These were repaired and painted along with the rest of the school building.  A Contingency Fund was provided to  school for the cleanliness and maintenance of toilets.  It was a positive sight to see that children had started using toilets and the practice of open defecation could be contained to an extent.

The village had Anganwadi centers under the ICDS scheme of the Govt. of India. However these centers were not much used because they had no provision of water and electricity for children.  So the parents did not send their children to the centers.

We made the provision for running water supply in 2 Anganwadi centers. The urinals and toilets were renovated and the availability of running water was ensured. Hand washing stations were built for children. The electricity was restored.  The seating  arrangement for children was done. A lot of learning material, games and toys were provided at both the govt. schools as well as Anganwadi centers.

The facelift of Anganwadi centers attracted small children below 6 years and their parents started sending them there to learn and play.

  • Strengthening Primary Health Care:

Village Saunda had a Primary Health Center at a close distance from the community. However the center was in a pathetic condition with no infrastructure for health check up or medical care. The diagnostic equipment was conspicuous by its absence.

We began with cleaning, painting and whitewashing of the walls of the Health center.  Repairs and filling of walls were undertaken all over And the result can be checked out in the below images.


Pathetic condition of  PHC village Saunda


The Clean PHC after work was done

For the conduct of medical care, necessary equipment was provided such as Blood Pressure machine, Stethoscope and various other diagnostic tools that are required to diagnose the nature of an ailment. The important  infrastructure for patient care was provided. A proper bed with mattress and clean bed sheets was provided for in-house patient care. The chairs, tables, stools and almirahs were procured for the proper functioning of the center. The stretcher was provided for  ferrying the patients from one place to another. There was no provision for privacy to women at check up and delivery time. Therefore curtains were put up to mark private screening and treatment areas at the center.

  • Mobilisation and Community Building:

While the WASH infrastructure was in progress, we conducted a series of awareness programmes in the community on its usage and upkeep. Through awareness talks with community people,  importance of sanitation and cleanliness was emphasized.

Awareness talk in the Community

We held Awareness Rallies in the community so as to take the message of Cleanliness to each and every house of the village. The community women and children participated in these campaign rallies.

Preparation for An Awareness Rally

  • Sustainability of the Interventions:

Engagement with local people is a time tested tool to ensure sustainability of a community intervention.  We built a Committee of 50 volunteers to take on the work done under the project further on.

The Village Committee

The Village Committee comprised local people from the community and the members of Gram Panchayat who had been associated with the project activities. Regular meetings were conducted where each one of the members put across their view point and collective planning was done to ensure efficient delivery  and good quality of work.