From taking matters into their own hands to creating unique and innovative solutions for India’s sanitation problems, these unsung heroes are leading India to a healthier and cleaner future. Here are five amazing initiatives that are quietly but determinedly improving sanitation in India.
Poor sanitation facilities, open defecation and related health issues in rural as well as urban India is not news anymore. Here are five heroes who have been trying to address these issues in a quiet but commendable way –
1. Namita Banka – Taking the ‘Bioloo’ to every corner of the country
Namita Banka and her team at Banka Bioloo is working hard to ensure that an eco-friendly toilet can be a reality in most homes in India so that the two major issues facing the country – poor sanitation and open defecation can be effectively combated.
The team is constructing bio-toilets for homes, public places, community areas, schools and institutions; bio-tanks for Indian Railways and other clients; bio-digesters (the bacterial culture) for bio-toilets and bio-tanks; and upgrading septic tanks to bio-tanks. They also service bio-toilets, and not only this, they have entered into annual maintenance and operations contracts (AMOC) with Railway zones and other corporate bodies to keep the bio-toilets in working condition. Cheers to the team which is making nature’s call more nature-friendly. Know more about Banka Bioloo’s work here.
2. Eram Scientific – Creating India’s first unmanned e-toilet
This unique toilet design by Eram Scientific Solutions Pvt. Ltd. is solving rural India’s sanitation problem in a more technology-friendly way. These toilets work on a sensor-based technology. The self-cleaning and water conservation mechanism in the toilet makes it unique. The user has to insert a coin to open the door and its sensor-based light system is automatically turned on once you enter the toilet. It also directs the user with audio commands.
These “smart” toilets are programmed to flush 1.5 litre of water after three minutes of usage and 4.5 litres if the usage is longer. The toilet also washes the platform by itself after every five or 10 persons use the toilet. That sure solves the big issue of cleanliness and hygiene. Read more about this technology here.
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3. Atul Bhide – The one man army
Atul Bhide from Mumbai is leading rural India to a healthier future, one toilet at a time. When he saw the poor sanitation condition in Maharashtra, he went ahead and constructed 10 toilets from funds of Rotary Club Thane Hill where he held president’s position. The team then constructed 200 toilets in Solgav village of Maharshtra. Each toilet is equipped with two soak-pits with special honey-comb designed brick work inside. They are odour-free, and do not require a separate drainage system. Know more about his amazing work here.
4. Swapnil Chaturvedi – The “Poop” guy
Meet Swapnil Chaturvedi, a.k.a The Poop Guy. When his daughter complained about lack of clean accessible toilets in school, he started Samagra with an objective of providing awesome sanitation services to the urban poor. He calls himself the “chief toilet cleaner” and says that even if there are toilets, people will not use them if they aren’t clean. Thanks to his efforts, the urban poor, especially teenage girls, live a more dignified and convenient life. Know more about his awesome work here.
5. Dr. Mapuskar and his amazing toilets in rural India
Dr. Mapuskar has been working in the field of rural sanitation for the last 50 years. His first efforts to build 10 toilets failed as those toilets collapsed in the monsoon. But he did not give up and began promoting a better technology and design of bio-gas toilets developed by Appasaheb Patwardhan. Today, there are 75 such bio-gas toilets functioning in the village, apart from 1000s of toilets in the villages which are now open defecation free. Over the next 5 years, Dr. Mapuskar modified the original design and developed the Malprabha bio-gas toilet. Know more about his work here.
Isn’t it inspiring? The change that one person or a small group can make! Three cheers to these heroes who went ahead and dirtied their hands to clean India.