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Table 2 Study participant’s quotes on sanitation promotion and community mobilisation activities

From: Processes and challenges of community mobilisation for latrine promotion under Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan in rural Odisha, India

Topic Detailed quotes
Poor quality of training of NGO field staff Training was not enough, and we should have had another training programme. We still have doubts as to how it [NBA] will be done, who will do it and when will it happen. (FGD – NGO)
When people say we don’t have sufficient funds to build a latrine, then, we don’t know how to motivate them. (FGD – NGO)
In a community there are different ways of educating them but we were not given those aids and tools. (FGD – NGO).
At the time of recruitment, we perceived funds to be given to us by the intermediary NGO or government to build latrines in the villages. It is only in the training in Puri, we got to know that through ‘awareness generation and mobilisation’ only, we have to facilitate the latrine building in villages and achieve the latrine targets, which is difficult. (FDG – NGO) 
At the end of the training, we were given latrine targets to be built each month, although we were not directly responsible for latrine construction. (FGD – NGO)
Lack of clarity among NGO staff When we visit the villages for mobilisation meetings, whatever strikes to my mind, I tell them. If I have experience on HIV, then, I tell them about HIV and other health issues even if it is not related to sanitation. Whatever little I know about sanitation, I just tell that to those villagers. (FGD – NGO)
We have learnt only 7–8 points from the 3 days training and when it comes to applying these learnings in the field to motivate people, these 7–8 points is insufficient. Then, we apply our existing knowledgebase and not the knowledge gained from the trainings.(FGD – NGO)
Whatever we have in our brain, we speak and discuss those, as much as possible and when our stock get exhausted, then we keep mum. (FGD –NGO)
I have joined now and villages are new for me, so I wanted more training and clarity on mobilizing government funds, but old staff said they don’t need any training. I was then told to concentrate on construction and let go the training. (FGD - NGO)
Programme initiation: Political interference There are interferences by political parties and the local politicians. The local leaders dictate us [NGOs] in which village to work/ not work. And if we don’t listen to them, then they do not let us to enter the village or allow holding any meetings. They also directed in which hamlets, the latrines are to be built/ left out. They even threatened to take our lives, if we did not listen to them. (FDG – NGO)
Programme initiation: value of door-to-door-visits The NGO man visited our houses and explained about the latrine programme to all the members present in the house and answered our queries too. His visiting our house was nice, and we could learn more about the latrine building work [programme] of government. By this, the female family members who would not have participated in the village meetings and in the midst of the crowd, could participate and interact with them. (IDI – adult female)
Logistical constraints in mobilising people for community meetings Gathering people at a common place is very time consuming. There are people who do not come to meetings, even if they are informed in advance. Some come as per their wish. So, we have to wait and sit [convene the meeting] according to villager’s availability and time. Whichever time they gave us, we made ourselves available in the village, which could be a Sunday or Saturday, and sometimes in the evening. (FDG – NGO)
Ours is a big village, and it is difficult to bring people of all castes and sections to one location and do the meeting. (IDI- adult female, general caste)
Village awareness meeting: challenges engaging women In many villages, we held meetings in a public place like schools instead of a temple [as some lower caste people are not allowed to enter the temple premises] so that all sections of the village, men and women could attend. In the meetings, women always sat at the back, behind the men and mostly do not voice their opinions, which was a challenge to engage women in the discussions and to get their views and feedback. It’s because our society does not allow them to sit in the front. (FDG - NGO)
There are gender related issues, the challenge of bringing people of both sex to the same platform. To mobilize men and women and getting them to sit in one platform was difficult. Men and women do not agree to sit together [share the same space]. Married women said they will not sit along with men, as they may touch their (elder) brother-in-laws [referring to the social norm]. Despite trying several times, we failed to bring them together. (FGD – NGO)
Due to this social norm of women reluctant to share the same platform with men, we had to hold separate meetings with women and men folks. Due to this, we also had challenges in formation of Village Water Sanitation Committee. Some members for the committee were nominated by men and the rest by women, in separate groups. (FGD – NGO)
Village-wide meetings: exclusion of low caste members While conducting a meeting at the mandap [a raised platform next to the temple], general caste people are unwilling to let the lower /scheduled caste (SC) people sit with them and were made to sit on the floor. During a VWSC formation, SC people had to sit away from the general caste people. (FGD –NGO and Observation)
We heard of a meeting taking place in the main village to discuss latrine construction but, we were not called to the meeting. Only 2–3 elders from our hamlet attended it. (IDI – adult female, low caste hamlet)
We are low caste people, and higher caste people did not like our joining the meetings. (IDI – adult male, low caste).
What’s the point in attending such [interface] meetings where all the decisions are done by high class and influential people and our views are not even heard.(IDI – Adult male)
Village awareness meeting: fixation with construction subsidies Don’t we know about open defecation, and impact? Don’t beat around the bush. Who has time to listen to all these things? Come to the main topic. Just tell how much you have got to pay us for the latrine. (Observation– village mobilisation meeting)
The NGO had a meeting, and told about dignity loss and shame by defecating in the open. This is nothing new, we already know, it is also shown on TV. Instead, if the NGO have got funds for latrines, then, they should immediately start building them. (IDI – Adult Male)
We were told that the NGO has brought the latrine programme to our village and if we do not attend the NGO meeting, we will be excluded from the latrine construction list. Therefore, I have come to attend this mapping meeting. (IDI – Adult male)
VWSC membership: exclusion of low caste Why nominate those SC people for the committee. They are illiterate and it will not be useful to have them in the committee. (Observation – village mobilisation meeting)
Kumari Committee: perceived value Adolescent girls are a good channel/ medium to influence the parents on sanitary habits which would later facilitate latrine adoption. (FGD – NGO)
If a son asks his father for something, the father may not listen or turn it down, whereas if the daughter demands it, then the father listens and pays attention. (FGD - NGO)
If a daughter tells her father that I am now grown up and feel shy to defecate in the open, the father would construct a latrine for her. Whereas, if a son repeatedly asks the father, he would not do it. (FGD - NGO)
Kumari Committee: lack of purpose We were told to clean the village by the NGO, which all girls did a couple of times with other villager’s help. But after those few cleaning events, everything stopped. Now we do not do anything as no one directed us, what we should be doing next. So we don’t know what we are supposed to do as a member of the Kumari Committee and what our deliverables are?(IDI –Kumari Committee member)
Social mapping: used to track open defecation Through maps, we show the villagers the vulnerable or contamination points caused by open defecation, and after latrines are constructed and used, they can see the transformation of these contamination points to better places. (FDG- NGO).
Wall painting: dissonant NGO and villager perceptions By seeing the wall painting, they [villagers] identified the open defecation sites and also felt guilty for their acts and realised what their village’s sanitation situation was. (FDG – NGO)
These NGOs have received funds from government to build latrines for our village, but they have siphoned off money meant for us, and in return only doing this painting. (IDI – adult male)