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Squatting with Dignity

Squatting with Dignity
Lessons from India

First Edition
  • Kumar Alok - Principle Secretary, Chief Minister Tripura
Critical Acclaim

January 2010 | 408 pages | SAGE India

This is the story of the successes and challenges faced in building the fast expanding rural sanitation network in India. It presents a detailed account of the development of the rural sanitation movement in India in the last decade. It is a story of breaking of sanitation taboos in India and teaching people to defecate with dignity and privacy. The book presents a historical account of the importance attached to sanitation and hygiene in ancient India and the evolution of sanitation policy in modern India.

Operationalizing reforms in a vast country like India, where pace and status of development varies significantly from state to state, is not an easy task. This book captures in detail the key debates and challenges faced in making policy makers and program managers across the states accept the reform principles in the Total Sanitation Campaign, the process of involving different key stakeholders in developing faith and conviction in TSC strategy and the development of key building blocks for program management. The key factors which influenced the success of the program and the lessons learned have been critically analyzed and presented in the book. One chapter introspects about the weaknesses in the program and the scope of improvement. The book outlines a vision for the future of the sanitation program in India and offers innovative ideas for launching a second generation of sanitation initiatives. The lessons from India are equally relevant for other countries in the world that are struggling with similar issues.


Dr N C Saxena

Karin Hulshof

Rural Sanitation: Development in Phases

Debate on Key Policies and Evolution of Implementation Strategy

Systems Building

Geographical Spread

Spread of the Movement

Key Achievements and Learnings

Key Challenges

The Way Forward





This book is a blueprint of the Indian state functionaries’ experience and attempts to provide “constructive” suggestions from that perspective.

Economic & Political Weekly

[The author] perspectives as an insider to the policy making process are spread over this book and that certainly adds a distinct flavour to an otherwise simple but comprehensive narrative…An interesting feature of the book is that it clearly brings out certain facets of public administration enlightening an ordinary reader on how the system functions in India… the book is extremely informative and goes to the extent of describing minute details of the projects as well as project proposals, which will be of great use to policy makers. This book has definitely added to the scarce published material on sanitation throughout the world. It will certainly help the policy makers and implementers in designing suitable programmes on sanitation not only in India but also in other developing countries.

Current Science

Written with commitment and passion, Squatting with Dignity provides an in-depth analytical account of what has worked and what remains to be achieved in the sanitation arena.

Kumar Alok

Kumar Alok is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1990 batch and presently the Chief Executive Officer of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), an autonomous institution created under the Sixth Schedule of Indian Constitution for overall welfare of the tribal population in Tripura. An M.Tech. from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur in Aeronautical Engineering, he is a social development professional with wide-ranging experience in various social sectors. He has long and rich experience in sanitation and hygiene promotion at the national level in India as well as in the international... More About Author

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ISBN: 9788132107446

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