Quality service delivery
The technologies developed by Sulabh have attracted various agencies towards management of human waste. These have been fully or partially supported by different departments of the Govt. of India. The ‘pay & use’ concept in public toilets is saving local bodies considerable expenditure annually in the maintenance the complexes. Now, it is only a one-time investment by the local government towards construction. The maintenance of the toilets is paid for from the user’s contribution. Since Sulabh takes maintenance guarantee of the system, there is a continuous public participation with the projects.
As human excreta is generally considered repugnant in society, it was difficult for people with this mind-set to even consider financial investment in projects relating to the disposal of human waste. The Sulabh, however, has made it financially viable. The cost of construction of the toilet complex is met by the local body. The maintenance of toilets and day to day expenses met from the user’s payments. Sulabh does not depend on external agencies for financing as it is generated through internal resources. All the toilet complexes in the slums and less developed areas are not self-sustaining. The maintenance of such toilets is cross subsidised from the income generated from the busier toilet complexes in the urban and developed areas.
Elimination of social stigma and psychological taboo
Earlier there was a social stigma and psychological taboo about human excreta and only people of the lowest economic strata were associated with these programmes. Through the efforts of Sulabh, by making the projects financially viable, people of higher social status are also competing to join in this venture without undue psychological inhibitions.
Altogether there are over 50,000 Associate Members/Voluntary Associate Members working with the Sulabh organization which include technocrats, professional managers, scientists, engineers, social scientists, doctors, architects and planners along with other support staff. Since Sulabh takes a 30 years’ maintenance guarantee for the toilet complexes it has constructed, all workers associated with Sulabh get almost regular employment. Besides, workers associated with construction jobs are engaged on new sites throughout the year.
It is now accepted that improving sanitation has a direct impact on health and in turn, also on overall productivity and the quality of life of the common people. In India improvement in sanitation is directly related to social upgradation of scavengers. The onsite treatment of human waste and wastewater treatment is the best suited option available to tackle the problem effectively. Any economically viable technology having the least operational & maintenance costs is more applicable in the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and South America.