Thiru Kesavan

Sanitation Changemaker

Keeping Sanitation Going - WhatsApp and the Pandemic

Thiru Kesavan's journey in the sanitation sector is a remarkable testament to dedication and leadership, improving the lives of the residents of Karunguzhi, Tamil Nadu.

Kesavan's voyage in sanitation began as the Executive Officer of Karunguzhi Town Panchayat, where he played a pivotal role in implementing the state's first Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant (FSTP) in 2017. The FSTP offered a transformative approach to waste management for the town and neighboring municipalities.

Inspired by the prospect of enhancing the living conditions of his town's residents, Kesavan recognized that safe sanitation practices not only benefit individuals but also contribute to the broader community's well-being. Under his leadership, Karunguzhi achieved significant milestones.

Kesavan persevered through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. When the lockdown initially disrupted sanitation work, he secured special permissions to continue essential maintenance in the city. The safety of sanitation workers was a top priority, and Kesavan ensured they had the necessary protective equipment.

Navigating the pandemic, Kesavan's team faced the challenges of maintaining social distancing and adhering to safety protocols in public spaces. To keep citizens informed, they created WhatsApp groups and used social media to disseminate health and government resource information. Engaging with the community, they organized contests for children and families, raising awareness about sanitation and public health.

Kesavan's exemplary use of social media not only showcased their efforts but also caught the state government's attention. It led to financial support for the Town Panchayat's sanitation initiatives, further amplifying the impact of their work.

Thiru Kesavan's innovative approach has not only improved the lives of Karunguzhi's residents but also set an example for others to adapt to the local context while implementing solutions.