A Former Engineer Builds Toilets That Are Not Only Free to Use but Also Produce Drinking Water

SHRI builds free-to-use public toilets in Bihar. These toilets then use the methane gas produced to purify drinking water

According to recent estimates, around 100 million people in India do not have access to clean drinking water and more than 600 million do not have access to toilets and other sanitation facilities.

Anoop Jain, a graduate from Northwestern University, USA, aims to change all that. A former, engineer, he quit his job in 2009 to follow his philanthropic passions.

Anoop along with villagers at a water ATM
Anoop along with villagers at a water ATM
Photo source: Sanrights.org

He raised $30,000 to build a community soup kitchen to help Tibetan refugees in north India. It was there that he realised the importance of improved public health as a means of empowerment. He continued working in rural India before reaching Bihar, where SHRI (Sanitation and Health Rights in India), formerly known as Humanure Power, was formed.

The organisation builds free-to-use public toilets in Bihar. These toilets then use the methane gas produced to purify drinking water, which is supplied to several hundred people at a nominal cost.


Photo source: Sanrights.org

His organisation also works alongside the community to combat other sanitation related problems.

SHRI currently has four facilities, and they aim to build two more by the end of this summer. Apart from helping in sanitation in the state, SHRI also employs only the poorest of people to construct their facilities.

Not surprisingly, Jain has won many accolades for his efforts in the field of sanitation. He is in the list of Forbes “30 under 30” social entrepreneurs. He is also pursuing his doctorate in public health at the University of California, Berkeley.

His free-to-use toilets are already reaching out to the poorest sections of people in Bihar. The toilets receive a traffic of around 3000-4000 people everyday. Moreover, they also distribute 100,000 litres of clean water through their water ATMs every month!

You can visit his website to donate to the cause: http://www.sanrights.org/

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