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Jammu and Kashmir’s Open Defecation Free Status

The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, now the union territory of J&K, attained 100% open defecation free status in September 2018, well before the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) deadline of 2 October 2019. However, the movement of women in flocks to fields as it gets dark portrays quite a different picture. Do the so-called individual household latrines exist only on paper, while being incomplete and non-functional in reality? Are these not being used due to cultural barriers and socialisation? What policy steps are needed to effect change in rural sanitation behaviour? To answer these questions and suggest a way forward, a micro-study was carried out in Bishnah block of Jammu district.

Transcending Ethnic Differences

On the basis of a one-day meeting of 24 women from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh at a migrant camp in the Jammu region—as part of Conciliation Resources’ Women’s Project—the use of storytelling as a method of peace building has been investigated. It demonstrates how telling their stories has an impact on women’s psyche, allows them to transcend ethnic and religious differences, mitigates perceived differences, and paves the way for peace-building efforts.
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