As part of the gender mainstreaming initiative and under the aegis of Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA) and Municipal Corporation of Anantapur we constituted Gender Forums (GFs) comprising of 154 members across 14 slums. The GF members are drawn from Self-Help Groups and community organisations for persons with disabilities (PwD), minorities, street vendors, girls, children, elderly, sex workers, and transgenders. The GFs work closely with the Municipal Corporation of Anantapur and MEPMA to ensure equal participation of the vulnerable population. The Forum provides them a local structure to voice their concerns about sanitation services.
GFs act as the first point of contact to understand the situation of the settlement and to reach out to the residents of the settlement. Members have been trained on various aspects like Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) guidelines, Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM), Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), and access to social and legal entitlements. In Anantapur, GFs were established at Azad Nagar, Ferror Colony, Bhavani Nagar, Navodaya Colony, Buddapa Nagar, Rajamma Colony, Rani Nagar, Nayak Nagar, Vinayak Nagar, Munna Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar, Lakshmi Nagar, Hamali Colony, Maruvakomma Colony.
The Municipal Corporation of Anantapur and MEPMA have supported GFs, across settlements, to carry out a range of activities. These include creating awareness, demanding and monitoring sanitation services, co-managing the facilities and changing behaviour. Nearly 100 meetings, focus group discussions and 30 campaigns on disease prevention were conducted.