Asha Pradhan

Sanitation Changemaker

How Asha Pradhan Transformed Her Community: A Case Study in Grassroots Activism

Asha Pradhan is a resident of Ward No. 9 of the Budhni Nagar Parishad. Her husband, Basant Pradhan, works for a private company, and their elder son is employed as a guard in a tractor company, while their younger son is studying in the 9th grade. Asha had been volunteering with the WaterAid team from the beginning. Her husband encouraged her to work as a volunteer with the WaterAid team so that she could increase her knowledge and help the deprived community in supporting them.

Asha Pradhan, a resident of Budhni Nagar Parishad, Sehore District, Madhya Pradesh, has been volunteering with WaterAid, a non-governmental organization focused-on water, sanitation and hygiene. She started working with the team to conduct surveys for sewerage connections. The municipal area was estimated to have sewers in 3,200. However, upon completion of the survey, the team could establish only 1,020 such sewer connections. Thereafter, Asha went from house to house informing people about the benefits of sewerage connections and the processes of dealing with wastewater. She also facilitated community meetings to raise awareness and prepare people to establish connections to the sewer line. Through this campaign, connections were successfully established for about 2,470 homes.

In recognition of her dedicated efforts towards cleanliness and sanitation, the Ward No. 9 Mohalla Committee of the Nagar Parishad elected Asha as the Chairman of the Committee. She took the responsibility of ensuring cleanliness in the locality herself. Being vigilant about the cleanliness in her ward, Asha began coordinating with the Sanitary Inspector of the municipal corporation to carry out cleaning work. People from the community began to approach Asha, with their concerns rather than going to their elected representative, confident that she can provide help resolve them.

Asha’s tireless efforts extend beyond cleanliness and sanitation. She has taken it upon herself to educate women from underprivileged communities on menstrual hygiene. Asha teaches them to make pads from cloth and uses WaterAid’s educational games to educate young girls and debunk menstrual hygiene myths, which is highly commendable.

As a result of Asha's dedication, the community is benefiting from improved sanitation, access to sewer lines, and menstrual hygiene education. Open water channels that used to attract mosquitoes and garbage are no longer seen, and the dependency on the municipality to empty household toilets has been reduced. Significant improvements have been made in municipal cleanliness, and myths related to menstrual hygiene have been debunked.

Asha's selfless service has not only earned her the respect of the community but has also made her family very proud. Her efforts are a shining example of how individuals can make a significant difference in their community by taking responsibility and working towards a common goal.