Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, India, International, Interviews, Photos, Press Releases, Sulabh News.

WOMEN AND GIRLS’ HEALTH

Shunned by their own families, thousands of Hindu widows make their way to the holy city of Vrindavan in northern India to find solace. But most also end up impoverished and neglected.

WRITTEN BY / Sutirtha Sahariah / PUBLISHED ON February 10, 2017

The holy city of Vrindavan, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is believed to be the birthplace of the Hindu god Lord Krishna. It is also home to more than 10,000 widows, most of them destitute and neglected. Photo by Sulabh International/PIC/Rajeev Tyagi

VRINDAVAN, India – After her husband died eight years ago, Manju Rai’s family started mistreating her and eventually cast her out of her home. “I was thought to be a burden on the family,” she says. “My daughter and son-in-law didn’t want to take responsibility for me. At my age, I could not fight them.”

In 2015, with nowhere else to go, she made the journey thousands of widows had made before her: She went to Vrindavan in search of salvation. The holy city is 890 miles (1,400km) from her home in West Bengal, and Rai had never traveled that far on her own before. But she was driven by the belief that “love for Lord Krishna would guide me and liberate me from all sufferings.”

Located on the banks of the river Yamuna in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Vrindavan is considered sacred to India’s majority Hindu population. It’s believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna, one of the most revered gods in Hinduism. With more than 5,000 temples, ashrams of various religious gurus and sects, the dusty town is one the most visited pilgrimage sites in India.

It is also home to more than 10,000 widows, most of them living lives of destitution and neglect and surviving by begging on the streets.

A global report on widows by the charity Loomba Foundation found there are 46 million widows in India, which makes up more than 9 percent of the population. Those who make it to Vrindavan come from a broad cross section of society, but they are also one of the most neglected and marginalized groups in the country. One study by the National Commission for Women found the majority of widows living in Vrindavan are illiterate and have no access to government pension schemes or subsidized meal schemes.

Rai has been lucky so far. Soon after arriving in Vrindavan, she managed to find a place in a government-run shelter where she has been sharing a room with three other widows. She receives a monthly pension of 300 rupees ($4.50) from the government and an additional 2,000 rupees ($30) plus medical care from the New Delhi-based charity Sulabh International. Many don’t get anything.

“I used to earn 3 rupees by singing religious songs for four hours in various ashrams … On other days, I begged. I lived in a dingy room, which had no toilet. I could never afford to see a doctor.”

Prem Dashi, 62, who has been living in Vrindavan for more than two decades and now shares a room with Rai says, “I used to earn 3 rupees (4 cents) by singing religious songs for four hours in various ashrams. Then I had to fight my way through the crowds to get the one free meal given out by charities. I wasn’t always lucky. On other days, I begged. I lived in a dingy room, which had no toilet. I could never afford to see a doctor.”

The government-run shelters can only accommodate 515 widows, a fraction of what is needed. Some of the women not in the government homes live in private shelters run by charities or religious organizations. But a vast number of them live on the streets and depend solely on the charity of others.

O.P. Singh, the district officer responsible for overseeing the government program for widows, says the residents of Vrindavan are being properly looked after.

“The inflow of widows varies every year, but the government is doing all it can to help the widows who are living permanently in Vrindavan,” he says. “They face few problems as they receive a pension, rations and healthcare from the government.” The government also says it is building a new facility that will offer refuge to 1,000 widows.

The lucky ones get a room in a government-run or privately run shelter, a small monthly pension and money for medical care. Many get nothing. (Sulabh International)

Once considered worthless without their husbands, widows in India have benefited from a strong history of activism in support of their rights. Progressive movements in the mid-19th century saw the abolition of Sati, the tradition of a woman burning herself on her husband’s funeral pyre, and the Hindu Succession Act of 1956 granted women inheritance rights. But in parts of rural India where patriarchy is deeply rooted, widows are still often driven out of their homes by their husband’s relatives who want control of their property and land.

In 2012, the Supreme Court of India said the government and its agencies were not doing enough to reduce the suffering of the widows of Vrindavan, after the National Legal Services Authority charity filed a public interest litigation petition to improve living conditions for the widows. The charity told the court conditions in the government shelters of Vrindavan were so bad that when a widow died, her body was chopped into pieces and disposed of, as there was no money to pay for the funeral rites. The court then gave Sulabh International the task of providing better services and care for the women.

“When I first moved to Vrindavan [in 2012] to get firsthand experience of the condition of the widows, I was a horrified to learn about their heart-wrenching plight,” says Bindeshwar Pathak, a renowned sociologist and the founder of Sulabh International. “It was inhumane and was a blot on our culture and civilization.”

Pathak started by giving a monthly stipend of 2,000 rupees ($30) to each of the Vrindavan widows. “Money offers the widows much-needed security and by paying it to them directly rather than giving it to the officials who run the shelters, we guarantee they have control over the money and they can spend it in the manner they want,” he says. The charity also provides ambulances, free weekly health checkups and training to teach the women new skills including reading and writing, embroidery and candle making.

Durga Dutta, who has been living in Vrindavan for the past 21 years, says Pathak and his charity have transformed the lives of many of the holy site’s widowed residents. Dutta, 72, used to make her living begging on the streets and singing religious songs. “At this age, it has become very difficult for me to walk all the way to the ashrams to sing and then wait in the queue to get government rations. We feel that Pathak is a godsend.”

Every year Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak defies a long-held custom by leading the widows in a celebration of Holi, the festival of color. (Sulabh International)

Since 2013, Pathak has also been leading the widows in an annual celebration of the Indian festival of color, Holi, in defiance of old customs that even today bar most widows in India from remarrying, celebrating festivals or wearing colored attire. His act of rebellionsparked a nationwide debate about doing away with rigid traditions that deprive widows of the opportunities that other women in India enjoy.

“The neglect of widows living in Vrindavan is a problem specific to some families and some communities,” says Pathak, who is campaigning for a government law for the protection, welfare and maintenance of widows. “It is the question of moral deprivation and greed of some families. But times are changing. We must teach the new generation to look after its elders.”

Source : https://www.newsdeeply.com/womenandgirls/poverty-hope-indias-city-widows/

 

Posted by & filed under Articles, Delhi, In the Press, India, Photos, Sulabh News.

February 10, 2017

प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी ने राष्ट्रपति महात्मा गांधी के जन्मदिवस पर 2 अक्टूबर 2014 को स्वच्छ भारत अभियान शुरू किया। पीएम मोदी के इस देशव्यापी अभियान से प्रेरित होकर सुलभ इंटरनेशनल ने भी सफाई अभियान शुरू किया। प्रधानमंत्री के हर घर में शौचालय मिशन को आगे बढ़ाते हुए सुलभ के संस्थापक डॉ बिंदेश्वर पाठक ने ग्रामीण स्वच्छता के लिए इस अभियान को चलाया। इसके अन्तर्गत यह सुनिश्चित किया कि 2019 तक करीब 12 करोड़ शौचालयों का निर्माण हो सके।

डॉ बिंदेश्वर पाठक अब सुलभ की यात्रा नाम से संगीतमय सीडी लेकर आए हैं। इस सीडी में उन्होंने स्वच्छ भारत और स्वस्थ भारत के संदेश देने वाले महात्मा गांधी और देश में स्वच्छता की संस्कृति को फिर से जगाने वाले प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी को सुलभ शौचालय की यात्रा वर्णन को समर्पित किया है।

आप भी देखिए-

Source : http://www.performindia.com/video-sulabh-clean-india-movement/

Posted by & filed under Articles, Delhi, In the Press, India, Photos, Sulabh News.

Here is a ​list of 5 ​innovative ​toilets that ​India can adopt ​to address the ​problem of ​ sanitation.

  • Solar Powered ​Urine Diversion ​(SPUD) Toilets: ​

Having the ​qualities of ​affordability, ​and user-​friendly, this ​toilet is 100% ​waterless and ​chemical-free ​and can be ​easily ​installed in ​rural parts of ​India. ​Highlight- ​Human waste ​turns into ​manure. ​

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  • Portable Tent Toilets:

It’s an ​earth-friendly, ​convenient and ​portable ​solution to ​open defecation ​in slums. The ​waste is ​collected in a ​biodegradable ​bag that ​contains ‘​ChemiSan,’ ​a material that ​helps to ​deodorize and ​decompose the ​waste. ​Highlight- ​Helps in saving ​water. ​

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  • Dr Bhindeshwar ​Pathak’s ​Eco-friendly ​Two Pit, Pour-​Flush Compost ​Toilet: ​

This serves as ​an alternative ​to the ​comparatively ​extensive ​sewerage septic ​tank based ​systems. ​Highlight – ​this toilet ​technology has ​also been ​recommended as ​a Best Global ​practice by the ​UN.

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  • LIXIL’s SaTo (Safe Toilet) Pan:

With a cost-​friendly ​innovative ​design, this ​toilet suits ​best for poor ​households. ​Certain models ​are tailored ​for areas where ​concrete is not ​widely used in ​the construction ​of toilets, ​while another ​is intended for ​places where a ​seat is ​culturally ​preferred to a ​squat toilet. ​Highlight – The ​water seal ​installed, ​reduces ​transmission of ​disease by ​insects, ​reduces odor ​and reduces the ​volume of water ​needed to flush.​

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  • Garv  Stainless ​Steel Public ​Toilet ​Infrastructure: ​

Indestructible ​and smart – ​This is a ​comprehensive ​and sustainable ​solution to end ​open defecation ​in rural India. ​The model is ​flexible enough ​to suit varied ​needs depending ​upon the ​conditions in ​each area. ​Highlight- The ​output is an ​odourless, ​colourless ​liquid that can ​be used as a ​pesticide spray ​later. ​

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Source: NDTV Swachh India 

Source : https://indiawaterweek.thewaternetwork.com/article-FfV/5-toilets-india-should-adopt-to-fight-sanitation-problems-Ncas4an_RFXHA4nh0gRO8g

Posted by & filed under Articles, Delhi, In the Press, India, Photos, Press Releases, Sulabh News.

Webdunia

Authorउमेश चतुर्वेदी

नई दिल्ली। आर्ट ऑफ लिविंग के संस्थापक और जाने-माने अध्यात्म गुरु श्रीश्री रविशंकर ने लोगों से शौचालय के उपयोग को बढ़ावा देने की अपील की है। सुलभ इंटरनेशनल सोशल सर्विस संगठन के मुख्यालय पहुंचे श्रीश्री रविशंकर ने कहा कि सुलभ की राह पर चलकर ही देश को पूरी तरह स्वच्छ बनाया जा सकता है। उन्होंने कहा कि देश में स्वचछ्ता की संस्कृति को बढ़ावा देने के लिए इस दिशा में और अधिक जागरूकता लाने की जरूरत है ताकि देश को जल्द से जल्द स्वच्छ बनाया जा सके।

इस मौके पर सुलभ इंटरनेशन के संस्थापक डॉक्टर बिंदेश्वर पाठक ने कहा कि श्रीश्री के विचारों से देश को प्रेरित होने की जरूरत है। इस मौके पर श्रीश्री रविशंकर ने युवाओं से अपील की कि वे सुलभ की राह पर चलकर गांव-गांव को स्वच्छ और सफल बनाएं। श्रीश्री रविशंकर ने सुलभ के प्रयासों और कार्यों की तारीफ करते हुए कहा कि डॉक्टर बिंदेश्वर पाठक कर्मयोगी हैं।

श्रीश्री ने कहा कि नौजवानों को बिंदेश्वर पाठक से प्रेरणा लेकर देश और समाज को आगे बढ़ाने की दिशा में काम करना चाहिए। श्रीश्री रविशंकर का स्वागत करते हुए सुलभ इंटरनेशल के संस्थापक डॉक्टर बिंदेश्वर पाठक ने कहा कि सुलभ ग्राम में श्रीश्री के आगमन से सुलभ के कर्मयोगियों को प्रेरणा मिलती है। उन्होंने कहा कि श्रीश्री के बताए रास्ते पर सुलभ आगे बढ़ने की कोशिश करता रहेगा।

सुलभ इंटरनेशनल के मुख्यालय में स्थित शौचालय संग्रहालय को देखकर श्रीश्री रविशंकर बेहद प्रभावित नजर आए। जब उन्होंने मानव मल से तैयार बायोगैस संयंत्र देखा तो चकित रह गए। उन्होंने इस तकनीक के बारे में कहा कि किसी गांव को ऐसी तकनीक के जरिए पूरी तरह आत्मनिर्भर बनाया जा सकता है। उन्होंने इस गैस की आंच पर खुद पापड़ भी तला।

इस दौरान श्रीश्री ने वृंदावन और वाराणसी के आश्रमों में रह रहीं विधवा महिलाओं से मुलाकात की और उनके साथ फोटो भी खिंचाया। इसके साथ ही श्रीश्री ने राजस्थान के अलवर और टोंक की उन महिलाओं से भी मुलाकात की, जो पहले सिर पर मैला ढोने की कुप्रथा का शिकार थीं।

इन महिलाओं को सुलभ के प्रयासों से समाज की मुख्यधारा में शामिल किया जा चुका है। अब ये महिलाएं ब्यूटीशियन, पापड़-अचार बनाने के साथ ही कपड़े सिलाई आदि का कार्य करती हैं। सुलभ की पहल के बाद इन महिलाओं में से कई अब संस्कृत में श्लोकों का पाठ करने लगी हैं। इन महिलाओं के उत्थान में सुलभ इंटरनेशनल की भूमिका को जानकर श्रीश्री दंग रह गए। उन्होंने इसके लिए सुलभ की जमकर सराहना की।

इसके पहले जब श्रीश्री रविशंकर सुलभ मुख्यालय पहुंचे तो उनका मंत्रोच्चार और शंख ध्वनि के बीच जोरदार स्वागत किया गया। जिसकी अगुआई सुलभ इंटरनेशनल के संस्थापक और समाज सुधारक डॉक्टर बिंदेश्वर पाठक ने किया।

Source : http://hindi.webdunia.com/regional-hindi-news/sri-sri-ravi-shankar-art-of-living-117020300070_1.html

Posted by & filed under Articles, Delhi, In the Press, India, Photos, Press Releases, Sulabh News.

Maya Today

February 3, 2017 3:33 am

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar pitches for proper toilets, sanitationSpiritual leader and Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday urged people to focus on proper toilets and sanitation to make society disease-free.

“People need to focus on toilets for the sake of living a healthy life and ward off diseases,” said Ravi Shankar.

On a visit to Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Sulabh International here – – which has the popular Toilet Museum describing good toilet systems across the world — he also urged people in the rural areas to join hands in making India cleaner and open defecation-free.

“By doing so, pay a befitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary on October 2,” he said.

Sulabh International has been providing sanitation solutions to the poor across the country to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Swachhh Bharat” mission, and other urban development initiatives.

Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak said : “There is a need to have more such movements to achieve the goal of total sanitation”.

Source : http://mayatoday.com/World-News/Sri-Sri-Ravi-Shankar-pitches-for-proper-toilets-sanitation/74324

Posted by & filed under Articles, Blog, Delhi, In the Press, India, Photos, Press Releases, Sulabh News.

Business News

Spiritual leader and Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday urged people to focus on proper toilets and sanitation to make society disease-free.

By: | New Delhi | Published: February 2, 2017

Spiritual leader and Art of Living Founder (Twitter)

Spiritual leader and Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday urged people to focus on proper toilets and sanitation to make society disease-free.

“People need to focus on toilets for the sake of living a healthy life and ward off diseases,” said Ravi Shankar.

On a visit to Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Sulabh International here – – which has the popular Toilet Museum describing good toilet systems across the world — he also urged people in the rural areas to join hands in making India cleaner and open defecation-free.

“By doing so, pay a befitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary on October 2,” he said.

Sulabh International has been providing sanitation solutions to the poor across the country to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Swachhh Bharat” mission, and other urban development initiatives.

Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak said : “There is a need to have more such movements to achieve the goal of total sanitation”.

Source : http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/sri-sri-ravi-shankar-pitches-for-proper-toilets-sanitation/535519/

Posted by & filed under Articles, Delhi, In the Press, India, Press Releases, Sulabh News.

Business Standard

IANS  |  New Delhi February 2, 2017 Last Updated at 20:08 IST

Spiritual leader and Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday urged people to focus on proper toilets and to make society disease-free.

“People need to focus on toilets for the sake of living a healthy life and ward off diseases,” said Ravi Shankar.

On a visit to Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Sulabh International here – – which has the popular Toilet Museum describing good toilet systems across the world — he also urged people in the rural areas to join hands in making India cleaner and open defecation-free.

“By doing so, pay a befitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary on October 2,” he said.

Sulabh International has been providing solutions to the poor across the country to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Swachhh Bharat” mission, and other urban development initiatives.

Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak said : “There is a need to have more such movements to achieve the goal of total sanitation”.

–IANS

rup/ruwa/bg

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Source : http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/sri-sri-ravi-shankar-pitches-for-proper-toilets-sanitation-117020201090_1.html

Posted by & filed under Articles, Blog, Delhi, In the Press, India, Press Releases, Sulabh News.

Health, Human interest, National, Society

New Delhi, Feb 2 : Spiritual leader and Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday urged people to focus on proper toilets and sanitation to make society disease-free.

“People need to focus on toilets for the sake of living a healthy life and ward off diseases,” said Ravi Shankar.

On a visit to Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Sulabh International here – – which has the popular Toilet Museum describing good toilet systems across the world — he also urged people in the rural areas to join hands in making India cleaner and open defecation-free.

“By doing so, pay a befitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary on October 2,” he said.

Sulabh International has been providing sanitation solutions to the poor across the country to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Swachhh Bharat” mission, and other urban development initiatives.

Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak said : “There is a need to have more such movements to achieve the goal of total sanitation”.

/IANS

Source : https://dailyworld.in/sri-sri-ravi-shankar-pitches-for-proper-toilets-sanitation/

Posted by & filed under India, Maharashtra.

Our Respected Founder Sir, Hon’ble Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak has been nominated for the WOCKHARDT FOUNDATION SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AWARDS as “SANITATION ACTIVIST OF THE YEAR” under the category “SANITATION”.

Please VOTE for Hon’ble Sir by giving a MISSED CALL on 7097298166.

One Missed Call casts One Vote! Repeat Miss Calls from the same number will not be considered for the same No.