"Soozhal Total Sanitation Initiative" - is a case study that documents the Soozhal Network's rural sanitation initiative in the Cuddalore District of Tamil Nadu, India. Soozhal, a group of seven NGOs, launched its project in 2000, to complement one of the Government of India's Total Sanitation Campaigns (TSCs), which involved non-governmental stakeholders. The initiative has completed latrine construction for 25% of its target households in the first two years itself. Soozhal's success has influenced the Government to adopt their methodology within the non-Soozhal areas of the District TSC, which has boosted the rate of latrine construction there as well.
This case study documents to pay attention to both the supply and demand aspects of sanitation for low-income households. The programme provides a model of how to optimise the use of limited resources - from both domestic governments and external development aid - in order to benefit large numbers of low-income households. Soozhal’s imaginative and flexible approach has contributed to the rapid pace of sanitation coverage and changes in people’s hygiene practices in the target area. It has shown that low-income rural communities, if mobilised and well organised, can become empowered to take these changes into their own hands. It demonstrates how a sanitation programme can succeed with low levels of subsidy, by stimulating demand and mobilizing communities.