Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, Uttar Pradesh.

Five ambulances provided to help deal with emergencies

Making a humble effort to lift the spirits of abandoned widows who have made Vrindavan their home, Sulabh International on Thursday dedicated five well-equipped ambulances to them for dealing with medical emergencies. Sulabh International, which had earlier taken steps for the welfare of the widows of Vrindavan after the Supreme Court expressed shock on their plight and the inhuman disposal of bodies, arranged a visit to Delhi for some of them, where they were felicitated.

Sulabh has already committed to provide adequate medical care for the widows. The ambulances would be kept on alert round-the-clock in Vrindavan. Besides, it gave them certain medical equipment, TV sets and refrigerators. Responding to the court directives, Sulabh initiated measures for them to lead a dignified life. “We have started giving Rs. 1,000 per month to each widow living in five government-run shelters in Vrindavan. Besides, we have opened a centre to provide proper healthcare and last rites,” said Bindeshwar Pathak of Sulabh.

With his vast experience in the field of low-cost sanitation and social upliftment of manual scavengers, the Sulabh founder said his first task would be to motivate the orphans and able-bodied widows to undergo vocational training so that they can earn their livelihood.

The court had recently taken strong exception to the manner in which the bodies of the widows, who lived in government shelter homes, were disposed — by chopping them into pieces and putting them in gunny bags — on the plea of insufficient money for proper cremation. The court had expressed serious concern regarding shortage of food as well. It had asked the National Legal Service Authority to contact Sulabh to find out if they could come forward to help the widows living in the government shelters.

Sulabh would also regularly monitor the success of its noble efforts, he said, adding that a monitoring cell would be set up for the purpose.

“For the time being, we will start on our own, but simultaneously, we will approach the Central as well as state governments, and big corporate houses for help. The idea is to provide a dignified life to the widows,” Dr. Pathak said.

Source : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sulabh-gesture-to-vrindavan-widows/article3942919.ece

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, International.

 

India's low-cost sanitation NGO Sulabh Sauchalaya is all set to go global by expanding its footprint in 50 developing countries to push the implementation of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), its founder says.

Addressing European leaders and business tycoons at the LH (La Harve) Forum, Indian low-cost toilet innovator Bindeshwar Pathak appealed to the business community Friday night to focus on the sanitation sector to help achieve its MDG as early as possible.

"My future course will be to propagate the idea of sanitation throughout the world especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America and this will be helpful in achieving the Millennium Development Goal," he said.

Pathak favoured the Sulabh Sauchalaya model for Western countries as well, saying: "In western countries, they have sewerage systems that are very expensive to construct and maintain. They require enormous quantities of water to flush and also pollute the atmosphere. They also cause global warming as gases generated from human waste is discharged into the atmosphere."

"Sulabh also want to set up the first University of Sanitation in India. My other step will be to publish an Encyclopedia of Sanitation," he said.

Pathak has played a key role in construction of public toilets in several countries including Afghanistan, South Africa, China, Bhutan, Nepal, Laos, Ethiopia and 10 other countries of Africa. Sulabh has already constructed public toilets in some of these countries.

Recognising his contribution and pioneering work in the field of low-cost sanitation and social uplift, the LH forum had invited Pathak to share the success of the Sulabh model with world leaders and business tycoons.

The MDGs are eight international development goals that all member states of the UN agreed to achieve by 2015. One of the MDGs is sanitation.

"Your personal and professional achievements among which your staunch dedication to the integration of the untouchables in India, alongside with your entrepreneurship sense led us to invite you," LH Forum President Jacques Attali said in his opening remarks.

Pathak and his team have developed an indigenous two-pit toilet technology that is not only cost-effective but can also be used for producing biogas. Recycling and reuse of human excreta for biogas generation is an important way to get rid of health hazards.

Source : http://news.webindia123.com/news/articles/Health/20120915/2064288.html

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, International.

LONDON: After providing low-cost sanitation in India and several countries, prominent Indian NGO Sulabh International will soon expand to 50 more developing countries and offer its toilet model to western countries as well. 



Sulabh Shauchalaya founder Bindeshwar Pathak last night told a meeting of European leaders and business representatives in Le Havre, France, that future expansion of his organisation will be in pursuit of UN's millennium development goal (MDG) of sanitation. 



Called the Positive and Responsible Economy Forum, the event was titled the 'LH Forum', organised in partnership with the French newspaper Le Monde. 



A film on Sulabh's activities by French filmmaker Catherine Berthillier was also shown at the event. 



Two liberated women scavengers from Rajasthan, Dolly Parvana and Laxmi Nanda, narrated their experiences to the gathering, a spokesperson for Pathak told PTI. 



The two-day event was also addressed by French President Francois Hollande. 



Pathak said: "My future course will be to propagate the idea of sanitation throughout the world especially in the three continents of Africa, Asia and Latin America and this will be helpful in achieving the Millennium Development Goal." 



Favouring the Sulabh Sauchalaya model for western countries, he added: "In western countries they had sewerage system in which construction and maintenance are very expensive and requires enormous quantity of water to flush and also pollutes the atmosphere. 



"There are many causes of global warming in which gases generated from the human waste is discharged into the atmosphere." 



The spokesman said Sulabh had constructed public toilets in Afghanistan, South Africa, China, Bhutan, Nepal, Laos, Ethiopia and 10 other countries of Africa. 



The next phase of expansion will be in 50 more developing countries, he said. 



Pathak said: "Sulabh also want to set up the first University of Sanitation in India. My other step will be to publish the 'Encyclopaedia of Sanitation'". 



Pathak is credited with developing a simple twin pit, pour-flush toilet system used in more than 1.2 million residences and buildings.

Source : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/et-cetera/sulabh-international-to-reach-50-more-developing-countries-offer-toilet-model-to-western-nations-too/articleshow/16410808.cms

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, International.

India's low-cost sanitation NGO Sulabh Sauchalaya is all set to go global by expanding its footprint in 50 developing countries to push the implementation of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), its founder says.

Addressing European leaders and business tycoons at the LH (La Harve) Forum, Indian low-cost toilet innovator Bindeshwar Pathak appealed to the business community Friday night to focus on the sanitation sector to help achieve its MDG as early as possible.

"My future course will be to propagate the idea of sanitation throughout the world especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America and this will be helpful in achieving the Millennium Development Goal," he said.

Pathak favoured the Sulabh Sauchalaya model for Western countries as well, saying: "In western countries, they have sewerage systems that are very expensive to construct and maintain. They require enormous quantities of water to flush and also pollute the atmosphere. They also cause global warming as gases generated from human waste is discharged into the atmosphere."

"Sulabh also want to set up the first University of Sanitation in India. My other step will be to publish an Encyclopedia of Sanitation," he said.

Pathak has played a key role in construction of public toilets in several countries including Afghanistan, South Africa, China, Bhutan, Nepal, Laos, Ethiopia and 10 other countries of Africa. Sulabh has already constructed public toilets in some of these countries.

Recognising his contribution and pioneering work in the field of low-cost sanitation and social uplift, the LH forum had invited Pathak to share the success of the Sulabh model with world leaders and business tycoons.

The MDGs are eight international development goals that all member states of the UN agreed to achieve by 2015. One of the MDGs is sanitation.

"Your personal and professional achievements among which your staunch dedication to the integration of the untouchables in India, alongside with your entrepreneurship sense led us to invite you,” LH Forum President Jacques Attali said in his opening remarks.

Pathak and his team have developed an indigenous two-pit toilet technology that is not only cost-effective but can also be used for producing biogas. Recycling and reuse of human excreta for biogas generation is an important way to get rid of health hazards.

Source : http://www.prokerala.com/news/articles/a327859.html

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, International.

ALWAR: After living on the fringes of the society for a long time, scavengers are slowly becoming a part of the mainstream. With an increased awareness about the discrimination against them,manual scavengers are building the courage to share their stories with the world.



Some of them flew to France on Wednesday to attend a convention on industrial and economic growth, where they will narrate their story about life transforming experiences.



Laxmi Nanda from Alwar and Dali from Tonk, who were earlier scavengers, now lead a better life with the efforts of NGO Sulabh International Sanstha.



The duo has been selected for a visit to France, where they will interact with the French and Israeli presidents.



"I didn't know how to write in Hindi but today I can talk in English as well," Laxmi said filled with pride.



Both Laxmi and Dali are no longer manual scavengers but work with the NGO.



Laxmi would narrate her journey from being a scavenger and facing discrimination to being brought into the mainstream and leading a life of dignity.



She describes her years as a scavenger 'bad' and 'atrocious'. A few months ago, she met the then President of India Pratibha Patil.



Coordinator of NGO Nai Disha Santosh Singh said "These women are making the country proud in other parts of the world with their efforts. They have quit scavenging and are now a part the mainstream society." Nai Disha also works for provid ing better opportunities those who earlier worked scavengers.

Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Former-scavengers-set-to-address-global-conference/articleshow/16376688.cms

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, International.

New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) Acknowledging his pioneering work in the field of low cost sanitation and social uplift, a French economic forum has invited Sulabh Sanitation movement chief mentor Bindeshwar Pathak to share his experiences with world leaders and business tycoons in Le Harve Sep 13-14.

"Your personal and professional achievements among which your staunch dedication to the integration of the untouchables in India, alongside with your entrepreneurship sense, lead us to invite you," said Jacques Attali, President of the LH (Le Harve) Forum that is held in partnership with the French newspaper Le Monde.

A movie on the Sulabh movement, produced by French film maker Catherine Berthillier will be screened at meet, which will be attended by a number of international leaders, including French President Francois Hollande and Israeli President Shimon Peres, besides business leaders from across the globe.

Two liberated scavenger women – Dolly Parvana and Laxmi Nanda – have also been invited to narrate their stories before the meeeting. They join other liberated scavengers who have walked the ramp in New York, visited the United Nations headquarters and travelled to other countries as well.

Pathak and his team left New Delhi for France on Wednesday.

The Forum will bring together international business leaders, CEOs from a large number of major global companies, international NGOs, the best representatives of the academic/research community, the international political scene and trade unions. They will discuss the emergence of an economy that would be more virtuous, balanced and fair placing people at its heart, a Sulabh statement said.

Forum President Attali, while appreciating Pathak's role, said: "Your work is testimony that you are not only fully part of the positive and responsible economy, but that you literally already embody this movement."

"We would hence be extremely honored if you accepted to take part in the LH Forum event. Indeed, we would be very pleased if you accepted to present your epic success story at the closing session of the forum," the letter added.

The Forum also noted that "as a true icon in his country, this disciple of (Mahatma) Gandhi is one of the first Indians to have successfully bet on social entrepreneurship and today manages one of the largest Indian NGO with more than 60,000 co-workers".

Thanks to the sanitary modernisation which he has undertaken and which generates $50 million per year, Pathak has liberated more than one million "untouchables" whose job was to collect human excrement by hand, the Forum noted.

Pathak is credited with developing a simple twin pit, pour-flush toilet system used in more than 1.2 million residences and buildings.

The facilities, which are pay-per-use, offer "an economically sustainable, ecological, and culturally acceptable solution to hygiene problems in crowded slum communities and public places".

Waste from these toilets is converted into bio-gas for heating, cooking, and generating electricity.

The technology has since been recommended by the United Nations HABITAT and Centre for Human Settlements, as well as the United Nations Development Programme.

Source : http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/2012/09/12/139–Educating-European-leaders-on-India-s-low-cost-toilets-.html

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, International.

Who says you can’t celebrate the mundane? These 11 museums are dedicated to items you use but probably never think about.

1. Sulabh International Museum of Toilets

The porcelain throne has come a long way from its humble beginnings, and thanks to a socially-conscious sanitation consultant in New Delhi, India, you can learn about the evolution of the toilet and its impact on public health around the globe. Though it is unquestionably strange, the Sulabh Toilet Museum isn’t so much a useless oddity as it is a hygiene technology warehouse; the founder, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, says one of the museum’s objectives is to “help sanitation experts learn from the past and solve problems in the sanitation sector.”

2. The Pencil Museum

Keswick, Cumberland is home to the Cumberland Pencil Company, producer of Derwent colored art pencils and a number of other pencil-art-related products. The Pencil Museum houses the world’s longest colored pencil (a yellow one) and is the home of the “world’s first pencil.” The claim is based on a local legend of a vein of graphite discovered under a fallen tree; the “strange black material” was used to mark sheep and eventually inspired the development of lead pencils and the formation of the UK’s first pencil factory in 1832. In addition to showcasing the history of everyone’s most-misplaced item (aside from car keys, probably), the museum offers art workshops and family events year-round.

3. Sidon Soap Museum

The Soap Museum in Saida, Lebanon, was once a factory and is now a chronological history of soap-making dating back to the 14th century, including the tools and processes from raw ingredients to final product. Displays range from simple urns and bowls to modern manufacturing equipment to molded and packaged soaps, and the tour wraps up with a look at the factory’s role in improving local hygiene and a guide to the Hammam.

4. Lock Museum of America

Located in Terryville, Connecticut, the Lock Museum of America is built near the site of the Eagle Lock Company, which was founded in 1854. Items on display include thousands of door locks, a room devoted to bank and vault locks, doorknobs and, of course, keys to open everything. The pièce de résistance is a 4000-year-old Egyptian tumbler pin lock.

 

5. Zhang Xiao Quan Scissors Museum

The museum, located inside the Hangzhou Zhang Xiao Quan Scissors Factory, is home to more than 1500 scissors from all over the world, as well as scissor-making tools, art made from scissors, and calligraphy. You can also tour the factory and watch as blades are placed one by one on machines that affix them to their handles.

 

6. Lumina Domestica Lamp Museum

Interior lighting is nice to have, though we mostly don’t think about it. Lumina Domestica wants to change that, and with its collection of 6500-plus interior lamps dating from prehistory to IKEA, it clearly surpasses any other museum in this goal. Included: torches, oil lamps, incandescents and LEDs.

 

7. Frank and Jane Clement Brick Museum

Believe it or not, bricks have a fascinating history and the market for rare “brand” bricks is better than you might expect. The Clements’ in-home brick museum in Orchard Park, NY, is home to thousands of such bricks, including a front drive and back patio built exclusively of collectible pieces. Viewing is by appointment only, so make sure to call ahead.

8. The Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum

Lee Maxwell is a washing machine enthusiast. His collection of antique-to-retro washtubs includes thousands of models, which you can look at in Eaton, CO, if you make an appointment first. If washing machine history is kind of your thing, Maxwell has a book, as well. Popular pieces are early Maytags and 1920s steam laundries.

9. The Bottle and Can Opener Museum

There is very little information about the Bottle and Can Opener Museum, but it does claim to be the only museum dedicated to this particular type of item, so it may well be worth a trip to Kibbutz Misgav Am, Israel, if you’re a collector or bottle-opener enthusiast.

10. Haarundkamm Museum

The Haircomb Museum in Mümliswil, Switzerland, celebrates ornamental haircombs as well as eyelash, eyebrow, beard and mustache combs, and even lice combs. In addition to the many thousands of items in the museum’s possession, visitors can learn all about the manufacture of combs and the invention’s impact on grooming habits through history.

11. Madsonian Museum of Industrial Design

If you like to keep all of your everyday objects in one place, but are tired of looking at the ones you have at home, consider a trip to Waitsfield, Vermont, home of the Madsonian Museum of Industrial Design. The items here are old and used, and you’ve probably seen almost all of them before. But the fact that we know and love these objects speaks to the museum’s mission: celebrating good design in mass-produced products. From eggbeaters to shoes to cars to toasters, the Madsonian’s mundane objets d’art are on display to make us think. As director David Sellers says, “By making the everyday beautiful and well designed, and by recognizing and valuing that effort, we can reduce our throw-away culture and become one that surrounds ourselves with beauty, thoughtfulness and art.”

Source : http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/141329

Posted by & filed under Africa, In the Press, Interviews.

COUPLE of decades back I had the privilege of meeting the great Mwalimu Julius Nyerere in Lusaka, something told me, he had greatness in his own right; as he gently tapped my cheek. Unfortunately fate never gave me the opportunity to tell but lightning struck me twice though.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity of meeting Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, the Founder of Sulabh International, and an Indian Sanitation NGO. Being the digital age, Google him, but this comes from me and feel free to quote me. "To be human isn't about being able to breathe or have a heart pump. It is how far you can go out of way to put dignity back into a person who long forgot what the word means".

That describes best in my opinion who this chap is. I say 'chap' because I was honoured to probe him and even more I learnt about his insight, vision and beliefs with 40 years of humanity behind him. When I did this probe, he told me, "Frankly I am quite amazed at the vision your letter so eloquently communicates.

I have tried my best to convey through my answers the various facets. "Myriad hues of my work, my mission and my thoughts about myself as well as the Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement," I'm sure you are anxious as to what I asked. Below are excerpts from the conversation I had with Dr Bindeshwar Pathak:-

Question: I know this is something you refuse to admit but please for argument's sake; in your opinion how and to what extent has your following of Mahatma Gandhi led to the success of the Foundation?

Answer: Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of truth, non-violence, compassion towards the poor and downtrodden, honesty, integrity, ethics and morality, concern for the untouchables, keeping the environment clean, his dream to restore human rights and dignity to untouchables, and to bring them into the mainstream of society have influenced my life and have led to the success of the Foundation.

Mahatma Gandhi was a man of honesty, integrity, ethics and morality. I have also tried to follow these concepts of Mahatma Gandhi and even today the functioning of the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation is totally transparent, based on honesty and integrity. It is only because of these values that we have been able to get respect and excellent credentials throughout the country both from the people and the Government. Mahatma Gandhi always spoke the truth. Once I had spoken a lie to the General Secretary in the Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebration Committee and I had to apologise to him.

Q. Briefly please explain what Gandhi's beliefs were, which you took up as the backbone of the foundation?

A. The Gandhian philosophy has a tremendous impact on the Sulabh Movement and we have tried to shape our organisation in such a way that it fulfils the aspirations and dreams of Mahatma Gandhi. He wanted the prestige of scavengers to be like that of the then Viceroy of India, the highest position in the country during the colonial days. In fact Gandhiji (anyone whose name ends with ji is a sign of respect) once said that if women can become princesses and queens then why shouldn't a woman scavenger become the President of India.

Aside the Sulabh activities what else do you copy from Mahatma Gandhi's lifestyle that you practice in your personal life?

Mahtma Gandhi always woke up to the first light of dawn, offer his morning prayers, did his yoga and go for his morning walk. I have also always maintained this regimen. My day also starts in a similar way. I do my yoga, go for walks and do my prayers. Mahatma Gandhi also ate frugally and led a spartan life. I too follow these principles.

Gandhi always helped the poor and needy. I also follow this religiously. I help people educate their children; assist in marrying off their daughters; help people access medical facilities and other philanthropic activities. I would also like to say that I diligently maintain the time and punctuality as Gandhiji used to.

Q. You fondly wear the Kurta (traditional dress), is it because it is comfortable or is there a statement you are making?

A. Before joining Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebration Committee I used to wear trousers and shirts. In order to do the work I do in the society which was based on Gandhian philosophy it is essential to wear the Kurta, maybe with a dhoti or with pyjamas because this was the symbol of swadeshi as envisaged by Gandhi.

Q. If you had a second chance in life, after your efforts and success in bringing a difference in sanitation and brining back dignity to former human scavengers, what would you have embarked on that you feel it is something that seriously needs to be addressed today in India?

A. Along with sanitation, India is facing today the problem of an acute shortage of water in many parts of the country and another problem is the growing population of the country. It is in these two areas I would have channeled my energies as I have done in sanitation sector.

Source : http://dailynews.co.tz/index.php/features/popular-features/9334-inspiration-from-a-man-who-uplifts-the-lives-of-people

 

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, Uttar Pradesh.

Manu Ghosh has told her story many times and now she is exhausted. “You will write and go away, but for me, nothing changes,” she says, sitting on her hard wooden bed at the Meera Sahbhagini Mahila Ashray Sadan in Vrindavan.

Forty years ago the newly widowed Manu Ghosh, now 92, came here from her village in West Bengal, living in a rented room, begging and singing bhajans. In 1999 when the ashram opened, she moved in but still depends on the charity of strangers. “I am here because of my devotion to Radha-Krishna,” she says. “This is where I will die and attain moksha.”

‘This’ is the city of widows where custom seems frozen in time despite its proximity to such symbols of resurgent India as a six-lane expressway. ‘This’ is an ashram of broken rooms and shattered hopes, where white-shrouded widows sleep in a covered courtyard open on all sides. ‘This’ is where life is reduced to a hope for death because only death brings salvation.

But it’s not death as much as devotion that guides this morning’s activities at the ashram, a dilapidated two-storey building with many rooms and nearly all toilets broken and unusable. Singing and chanting in the late morning light, the 135 women are gathered around Bindeshwar Pathak, the man behind Sulabh Shauchalaya and a person whose life’s mission has been to improve the lives of manual scavengers.

Pathak is here in response to a Supreme Court request to find out if he can ‘ameliorate the pitiable conditions’ of the widows. “This is not my field,” he admits. “But when I saw these women, it was heart-breaking and I could not deny the request.”

Already Pathak has opened an office in Vrindavan, earmarked Rs. 20 lakh from Sulabh’s funds for the widows, ordered four ambulances and distributed a one-time allowance of R1,000 each to women who live in the four government-run ashrams. But, he says, he is here to learn.

Learn, for instance, about how nobody was prepared to cremate the widow who died in January and how, according to a report filed by the District Legal Services Authority, a sweeper had to be paid R 200 to take her body, cut it into pieces, stuff these in a sack and dump them in the river.

Depending on who you speak to, the number of widows who live in Vrindavan and its adjoining towns vary from 3,000 to 21,000. But widows are not the only abandoned women. Kamala from Orissa moved to Vrindavan after her husband left her because she couldn’t have children; 19-year-old Anamika came here after her in-laws threw her out for bringing insufficient dowry.

The women are entitled to a monthly pension of Rs. 300 a month. They also sing at the various bhajan ashrams for which they get Rs. 10 a day plus a handful of uncooked rice and dal.

“We have been recommending investment in skill training so that at least the younger women can find dignified work,” says V Mohini Giri who heads the Guild of Service that works to improve the lives of widows. The 80 women at Ma-Dham, run by the Guild, can choose from courses from computers to beauty culture. Food is provided free.

Nobody goes hungry in Vrindavan, found a report filed by journalist Usha Rai for the Guild of Service. Twenty million pilgrims come here every year, many are eager to give to charity. It’s this generosity that has, tragically, led to an increase in the influx of widows and abandoned women, says the report.

Nearly 90 per cent of the widows surveyed said they didn’t want to go back. ‘Back’ is their parental home or with their husbands’ families where they are derided, ill-treated, often starved.

More than food or clothing or shelter what these forgotten women need is assimilation and inclusion. Mohini Giri, a widow, recalls being invited to a family wedding but when the time came for the bridegroom to tie the mangalsutra on the bride, she was asked to leave because ‘even my shadow could not fall on the ceremony’.

It’s this stigmatisation that must change before anything else does. The widows of Vrindavan who lead tragic, neglected lives have become a cliché. In any modern country, they would be considered productive citizens, capable of contributing to society. “A widow wants society’s acceptance more than its charity,” says Giri. Agrees Pathak: “At Sulabh, we work to restore dignity. But when you place a begging bowl in the hands of a woman, you steal her soul.”

Getting more money, building ashrams, funding kitchens is the easy part. Reclaiming the dignity of women caught in a time warp and granting them their rightful place within families and communities is the far greater challenge. For Manu Ghosh and thousands of others in Vrindavan it may already be too late.

Source : http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/UttarPradesh/Can-the-widows-of-Vrindavan-reclaim-a-life-of-dignity/Article1-923116.aspx#.UENZWw96xxI

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, Uttar Pradesh.

After launching a scheme to help the widows of Vrindavan, Sulabh International today announced its decision to give a monthly dole of Rs. 1,000 each to such women to prevent them from starvation and begging. Making the announcement, Sulabh Founder, Bindeshwar Pathak, said the organisation has decided to make the payment on the fifth day of every calendar month.

Sulabh has already handed over Rs. 1,000 each to widows living in four ashrams in Vrindavan in the last four days, he said.

To ensure prompt healthcare to the widows, the organisation has placed orders for four well-equipped ambulances to be kept alert round-the-clock exclusively for them.

The organisation, known for promoting low-cost sanitation, has opened a Sulabh centre which would monitor the healthcare facility, last rites and other welfare measures for widows.

Sulabh had on August 12 announced to take care of widows following the Supreme Court taking a strong exception recently to the manner in which the bodies of widows, who lived in government shelter homes at Vrindavan, were disposed.

The court asked NALSA (National Legal Service Authority) to contact Sulabh International to find out whether they could come forward to help the 1,780 odd widows living in four government shelters at Vrindavan, Pathak said.