Medical college alumni help build toilets

An effort by a group of doctors to educate villagers has paid off. It all started when paediatric cardiologist R. Prasad Manne led a group of doctors and students from Kilpauk Medical College to conduct a health camp at the Tiruvallur Government Hospital.

The paediatrician at the GH there, Jagadeesh Kumar, suggested that KMC adopt a village and raise awareness about hygiene. They chose Namachivayapuram, a hamlet with around 300 families in Tiruvallur district, where most people defecated in the open, though the village school had a separate toilet for boys and girls.

N. Nagabushanam, a water bottle packaging unit employee, said: “Since we are not much at home we never thought about it. All village children suffered from fever frequently. We never knew that defecating in the open was causing the diseases.” Namachivayapuram, along with six other villages, forms a panchayat. It is Dr. Jagadeesh’s ancestral village.

Under Kilpauk Medical College Alumni Seva Project, 42 toilets were built in the village that falls in Kadambattur block, Tiruvallur district. Dr. Prasad said the association did a detailed analysis and motivated five families. “After seeing the benefits of using toilets, other villagers were motivated. Now the village is open defecation free.”

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