Skip to main content

Published on: 14/02/2023

This news item was written by Shiny Saha and Cor Dietvorst

Still from UNICEF-IRC video WASH Roles & Responsibilities elected representaitives

Still from video 1: Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (W.A.S.H.) - Roles & Responsibilities for elected representatives in the state of Odisha. Credit: Shubho Broto/

UNICEF Odisha and IRC have engaged Tiki Mausi, a mascot resembling a typical Indian neighbourhood aunty, to advise elected village representatives about taking responsibility for water and sanitation. Tiki Mausi (mausi means aunty in Hindi) has conversations with representatives of India's three-tier local government structure: the directly elected Gram Panchayat (for a cluster of villages) and indirectly elected members of the Panchayat Samiti (block level) and Zila Parishad (district level).

The conversations focus on the provision of safe water and sanitation and the roles and responsibilities of elected representatives. "Mausi, how does taking on so much responsibility benefit me?", asks Gopi, the Sarpanch (elected head) of a Gram Panchayat. "You will be known as a great leader, earning the respect of your community members for enhancing their lives", answers Tiki Mausi, who is not only friendly but also wise.

Tiki Mausi's conversations are captured in two animated videos in Oriya (the state language of Odisha) with English subtitles (see below) and three podcasts in Oriya. The video, audio and transcript files were made available to view online and download onto mobile phones, so taking training beyond the classroom. The English transcripts of the podcasts are available on our website.

In 2021, IRC and UNICEF Odisha began developing the Tiki Mausi audio-visual training module for state-wide training of local government elected representatives by the State Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (SIRD & PR) of the Government of Odisha.

The training module aims to help elected representatives to effectively carry out their responsibilities in the implementation of the two national schemes – Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) and Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)- Rural II. JJM was launched in 2019 to connect every rural household with a functional tap connection. The SBM (Rural) II was launched in 2021 to sustain the Open Defecation Free status achieved during the first phase and manage solid and liquid waste in rural areas. The training module also aims to shift the predominant focus of these national schemes, from infrastructure creation to sustaining services.

"Remember", says Tiki Mausi, "for a village to develop, prosper and thrive, we have to ensure the health and wellbeing of all". She continues: "safe water, sanitation and overall cleanliness play a key role in this. Make sure that no one is left behind, as health impacts will not be reached if even one household has unsafe water or sanitation". "Plan, budget, monitor to ensure that everyone has sustainable access to these services".

View the two Tiki Mausi videos below.

Back to
the top