Afsana, residing in Budhni town of Madhya Pradesh, is a mother to a 6-year-old daughter and an active community participant. Water and sanitation issues were prevalent in her neighborhood, motivating Afsana to take action. She participated in community meetings and training sessions that WaterAid organized, leading her to work closely with her community on waste management and cleanliness.
A strong believer in communities’ participation as the vehicle for progress, Afsana led efforts to sensitize people on the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene. Her persistent advocacy struck a chord with her neighbors and resulted in greater awareness about WASH related matters. To transform awareness into action, she also went on to collectivize a citizen's group in her neighborhood and was elected as its chairperson.
As part of her work as the Chairperson, Afsana conducted a survey to identify households which did not have access to toilets. She identified 90 such households in her neighborhood and utilized the data to collaborate with the Municipal Corporation of Budhni in building proper toilets for those 90 families and enabling them to access safe sanitation. Additionally, Afsana advocated for a water pump to be installed in her area, and her persistence paid off when the Municipal Corporation fulfilled her request. Now, the community enjoys easier access to water, whereas earlier they had to travel over half a kilometer simply to collect water.
Afsana’s story is a reminder of the pivotal role that women's leadership plays in improving sanitation and hygiene conditions in communities. Her unwavering commitment towards her community’s wellbeing has resulted in a transformative and lasting impact. Afsana continues to work towards WASH in her town and also inspires others to make positive changes in their communities.