As part of the Gender Mainstreaming initiative and under the aegis of Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA) and the Municipality of Kovvur, we constituted 6+ Gender Forums (GFs) comprising of 37 members. The GFs members are drawn from persons who are or have been part of Self Help Groups (SHGs), fisher folks, beggars, rag pickers, taxi drivers, and representatives from leprosy colony. These GFs work closely with the Municipality of Kovvur and MEPMA to ensure equal participation of the vulnerable population. The Forum provides them a local structure to voice their concerns about sanitation services.
The GF acts as the first point of contact to understand the situation of the settlement and to reach out to the residents of the settlement. The GF members have been trained on various aspects like Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) guidelines, Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM), Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), access to Social and Legal entitlements etc.. In Kovvur, GFs were established at Sriram Colony, Rajeev Colony, Old Bridge Peta, New Bridge Peta, Vamby Colony, Atchayamma Colony, Christian Peta and Aurangabad.
The Municipality of Kovvur and MEPMA have supported GFs across settlements to carry out a range of activities. This includes creating awareness, demanding and monitoring sanitation services, co-managing the facilities and changing behaviour. Campaigns on solid waste management (SWM) and nutrition was conducted. Awareness was generated on MHM, open defecation (OD), hand wash, malaria and den