Amid numerous social issues in the country, open defecation and the lack of sanitary facilities for urban and rural poor continues to be a persistent evil that does not always receive the attention it gravely deserves.
In India, close to 32 crore people defecate in the open—which amounts to a staggering 24 percent of the country’s population. Naturally, concerns about hygiene are important, but a bigger concern is the plight of countless women and girls, who have to wade through unsafe routes every single day to answer nature’s call.
About 6.3 crore girls in India lack access to a private toilet, of whom 23 percent drop out of school after attaining puberty because their educational institutions lack basic sanitary infrastructure.
Archaic societal constructs, lack of actual physical constructions and the stigmatisation of their natural bodily functions mean the female population is left with no other option than to defecate in the open, stripping them of privacy and dignity while dealing with human biological processes.
This issue isn’t just limited to rural sections. It is also a major issue in peri-urban regions (where urban and rural zone mix) in the country, thanks to limited sanitary spaces. None of us is far from the problem. Have you ever wondered if your domestic house help has a toilet in their home? Or does her daughter go to school?
Addressing this crucial failing, a global organisation is working on creating safer sanitation models for women in India.
The goal is to give countless, faceless women across the country the right to proper and hygienic sanitation.
Through smart, odourless and affordable toilet solutions, SATO Technology aims to take on the sanitation challenge head-on and is helping women take action for their right.
The first-of-its-kind innovative technology is crucial for the Indian scenario. It can reduce water consumption per flush by up to 80 percent and address concerns like clogging and bad odour.
The organisation has already installed 30,000 units since its launch in October 2017 and is finally helping women in both rural and urban communities break free from unsafe and undignified sanitary practices.
Besides India, SATO has been employing its novel technology in 13 other countries across the globe.
On a broader level, SATO intends to spark a dialogue on the need for sanitation amid all sections of society and bring about the understanding that safe, clean toilets are a prerequisite for every household across the country.