India Water Portal invites applications for Fellows for The Great WASH Yatra

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India Water Portal is an open, inclusive website that shares knowledge and resources on water, sanitation, agriculture, the environment, climate change, ecology and related themes and issues in India. The Portal is managed and coordinated by Arghyam, a non profit organisation that works in water and sanitation in India.

India Water Portal is partnering with a host of other NGOs for The Great WASH Yatra, a traveling carnival with WASH (WAter, Sanitation & Hygiene) themed rides, games and performances that will travel from Bihar to Gujarat from October 2nd to November 19th 2012. Along the way the Yatra will journey to 8 locations in 5 states, culminating in a closing event in on World Toilet Day on November 19th 2012.

The Great WASH Yatra is a multi-channel, mega-campaign that seeks to promote awareness and behavior change around sanitation and hygiene in India. It has been conceptualized and is being led by WASH United and Quicksand. Financially, it is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and GIZ. Key collaborators include the Government of India’s Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA), the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), and UNICEF.

Yatra route:

October 3rd ‚Äď Kicks off in Wardha, Maharashtra

October 10th ‚Äď Indore, Madhya Pradesh

October 17th ‚Äď Kota, Rajasthan

October 25th ‚Äď Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh

November 1st ‚Äď Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh

November 16th ‚Äď Ends in Bettiah, Bihar

Please note that dates and locations are still tentative.

Why sanitation?

Lack of adequate sanitation is a huge problem in India. 638 million Indians live without access to safe, adequate sanitation, making India the country with most people living without toilets in the world. This leads to problems spanning health, economics, human rights, and the environment.

Impact on Women & Children

  • More than 1,000 children die from preventable diarrhea every day.
  • Women suffer due to reproductive tract infections due to poor hygiene.
  • Human rights abuses are a common occurrence as women are often molested or raped as they are forced to use isolated locations for open-defecation.
  • Shame and lack of dignity is a constant companion as people are forced to defecate in full view of others.
  • Women spend 200 million hours collecting water every day. 
  • 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases.

Economic Impact

  • India loses approximately USD $53.8 billion (>6.4% of India‚Äôs GDP) due to increased health costs, productivity losses, and reduced tourism revenue due to inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.
  • Halving the proportion of those globally without access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation by 2015 is estimated to result in 272 million more school attendance days a year.
  • The value of deaths averted, based on discounted future earnings, would amount to USD $3.6 billion a year.
  • For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, $8 is returned in increased productivity.
  • 3.5% of all work time is lost due to sanitation related diseases.

Task profile:

India Water Portal is looking for Fellows to participate in the Yatra. This is a 2 month assignment where you will have the chance to learn about water, sanitation and hygiene and help spread awareness on the need for good sanitation and hygiene practices in India. 


  • Attend a pre-Yatra training (location to be determined) in early September 2012 (transport and food will be provided)
  • Travel with Yatra from Oct 2 - 19 November 2012 (shared accommodation, food, transport will be provided)
  • Facilitate discussions with groups of women who come for the Yatra
  • Collect information from each stop of the Yatra and possibly cover it for India Water Portal
  • Contribute to a written (English or Hindi) report on each stop of the Yatra
  • Logistics support with running of the Yatra- supporting the Lead Co-ordinator
  • Fluent Hindi and English mandatory

Preferred skills:

  • Experience of facilitating conversation required
  • Experience of working with tablet computers
  • Experience of working in Menstrual Hygiene Management a plus
  • Experience of surveying a plus
  • Experience of analyzing and presenting data a plus

Optional skills:

  • Video/ photography and a plus for video editing
  • Live tweeting, Facebook posts, general knowledge of social media
In addition to providing free transport through the Yatra, accommodation and food, India Water Portal Fellows will be paid a stipend as well for the 2 months of the assignment. Please note that female candidates are preferred.
Applications for the Fellowship are now closed. However we are still looking for volunteers who live in (or near) any of the Yatra stops, who wish to attend the Yatra. If you are less than 12 hours by train from any of the 6 Yatra stops, please write to
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Post By: priyad