The ZSBP program has been in the running for over a year now. In order to add value to the program, the Tata Trusts have initiated a monthly workshop where preraks come together and share their experiences, challenges and a general stock taking of the work done in their districts/ states.

The batch consisted of preraks from the following states: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh. 

The session started off with a brief on the work that the Tata Trusts does and the objectives of the workshop. This was followed by introductions of each participant. 

The COO of Tata Trusts, Harish had a very vibrant session of interactions and exchange with the preraks, speaking about various subjects – from the kind of work the Trusts does, the employees, the initiatives and how every small action makes a difference. He spoke about his experience in the sector. During the course of the session, he mentioned how preraks can leverage the Tata brand and come forward with ideas and use the various platforms that the Trusts have to offer – be it a new idea/proposal or an innovation. A suggestion to do a prerak magazine was also suggested along with the strategy team’s inputs. 

During the course of the day, preraks took turns to showcase their experiences in their districts which was followed by a Q & A afterwards. The various learnings from these workshops was that every region has its nuances and it is best to utilize what works in a specific area. For example: The Assam model works differently compared to other regions as the people want toilets and use them once built. BCC activities are accordingly done. They are habituated to using toilets; and before each household was given a toilet, they used ‘kachha’ / make shift toilets in their areas. Villages take pride in keeping their surroundings clean. The use of traditional folk arts and dance forms to mobilize communities has made a remarkable difference in their propaganda of a swachh bharat. There is no shortage of water, but some of the areas are flood prone, so people have had to get creative in building different toilets. Twin pits are not the best option out there, but as per mandate from centre, they are being made. The quality of construction is superior and maintenance is being done time to time by the households themselves.

During the second half a presentation on Credit Financing for Sanitation and Water was made by Water.org. Srikant Prabhu from the Social Alpha team also joined in via a skype call to propose ideas of how the preraks can get integrated into the startup scene and the opportunities which Social Alpha can offer to them.