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TOILETS FOR ALL

How to achieve the dreams of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India,
Shri NarendraModi to provide toilets to each and every house by 2019 so that nobody should go outside for defecation. 
Dr. BindeshwarPathak*

Ph.D., D.Litt.

From the very beginning of human civilization, the people of India must have been going outside for defecation. Open defecation got cultural and religious sanction in the Puranic Period where it was suggested to Indians not to defecate near human habitation. It was also suggested that one should go at a distance, dig a small pit, put some grass and leaves and then defecate and after it is over again put some grass and leaves fillingit with soil. This practice of open defecation is still prevalent in India specially in the rural areas, in urban slums and at religious gatherings. In earlier days, the villages had trees, bushes and raised mounds where one could hide oneself for defecation. Tropical climate also helped this practice to continue.
Before 1870 no attempt was made for the safe and hygienic disposal of human waste. Only two practices were prevalent; one as mentioned earlier, i.e. open defecation and the other was the cleaning of bucket toilets in  urban areas specifically by the human scavengers called and treated as ‘untouchables’. In 1870, during the British Period, for the first time the sewerage system was laid in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and in the last 145 years only 929 towns and cities have provision of sewerage system out of 7935 big and small towns and only 160 towns have Sewerage Treatment Plants (STP)  (4041 Statutory towns notified by the Government). The sewerage system is costly in construction and maintenance and it requires enormous quantity of water to flush. Therefore this system is only limited to the towns and cities, as stated earlier. Even the continents of Africa, Asia and Latin America are lacking the provision of full sewerage system. So on the one hand because of religious and cultural sanction and on the other, the absence of an affordable flush toilet, this practice had been continuing before my advent in the field of sanitation and social reform. In 1968 I joined Bihar Gandhi Centenary Celebration Committee, a non-profit society, which was constituted by the Government to celebrate the birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1969. Mahatma Gandhi was concerned about the cleanliness and sanitation, had suggested Indians to use trench latrines which he himself used to use in his Phoenix Ashram in Durban, South Africa. He also suggested to putsoil on human excreta after defecation was over. Gandhi himself wanted a scientific toilet to replace both the systems of defecation in the open and manual cleaning of night soil by untouchables.
In 1968 with the help of books and application of mind I invented, innovated and developed a technology namely, the two-pit ecological compost flush toilet popularly known as SulabhShauchalaya. This technology is affordable, appropriate, indigenous and culturally acceptable. In this technology there are two pits. One is used at a time and the other is kept on standby. When the first one is full it is switched over to the other one. In the first one, after two years the human excreta gets converted into bio-fertilizer with the help of bacteria present in the soil. It requires only one litre of water to flush per use. Therefore this is economical and it has no vent pipe so there is no chance of air pollution. Sulabh alone has installed more than 1.3 million toilets in individual houses and the Government of India had also got installed about 90 million such toilets. The countries of Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, Indonesia and others they have also adopted the SulabhShauchalaya technology. As per 2011 Census, rural areas need 110.6 milliontoilets, in urban areas2.8 lakhhouses have bucket toilets cleaned by untouchables, 14.7 millionhouses have no toilets and in slum areas there is no provision of toilets so by and large they go outside for defecation in the open. Sanitation problems are being addressed from the first five year plan of India but it only gained momentum when I invented the technology, developed methodology for the implementation of the programme in 1968 Sulabh technology has been accepted throughout the country and also in other countries like Afghanistan and in nearly 15 African countries.
The present Prime Minister of India, Hon’bleShriNarendraModi has ignited the minds of Indians to make India clean and to provide toilets in all the houses both in urban and rural areas and also in schools as well as slum areas so that nobody should go for open defecation. The Sulabh model has become successful in India and abroad. To address sanitational problems facing the country, the Government of India and the State Governments have to adopt the Sulabh model with some modificationsto adhere to the local conditions to solve the problems of sanitation. We have to train about 50,000 motivators who will go from house to house to motivate, educate and communicate, implement, maintain and follow-up the programme and also train about 2,00,000 masons who will build the toilets. The motivators have to be paid the implementation and follow-up charges to make the programme a great success.
The government has set a target ofall housesholds to have toilets by 2019 i.e. the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi to pay best tribute to Mahatma. This target for toilets can be feasible and realistic if they accept my advice.
There are four-five options which can be adopted for the implementation of the programme and fufil the targets by 2019.
i) Toilets should be built with superstructure for which the amount will be Rs. 25,000 shared by the Government of India and the State Government.
OR
i) At present the Government of India’s share is Rs. 9,000/- and the State Government’s share is Rs. 3,000/-. In this cost beneficiaries can have two pit toilets with platform including pan and waterseal but superstructure may be constructed by the beneficiaries either by bamboo sticks or gunny bags or superstructure made of bamboo mats or thatched material.
OR
i) The contribution of the Central Government and the State Government should remain as it is and the balance Rs. 13,000/- may be given by the donors to get the toilets built.
OR
ii) The Government’s contribution should remain as it is and the rest money of Rs. 13,000/- can be mobilized from the funds donated by the beneficiaries.
OR
v) The Government’s contribution should remain as it is and Rs. 13,000/- should be contributed by the donor agencies and the beneficiaries.
Models of Sulabh Two Pit Toilets at Different Places
In all the above cases motivators have to be involved for motivation, education, communication, training, implementation, maintenance and follow-up and to monitor the works to be done and already done by them. There should be specialised NGO’s to monitor and oversee the whole programme and in this case 10% of the total cost of the toilet should be given to motivators and 5% to the NGOs which will monitor the works properly.
Even if the population grows in future, the problem can be solved because the people will have the habit of going to toilets and once the culture is changed and people adopt hygienic practices it will continue. Therefore I do not foresee any problem in future if the present oneis solved.
As I mentioned earlier, if the Government of India and the State Governments can achieve the target, then the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and the Prime Minister of India can be fulfilled.
***
Please Note: If any query, please feel free to write to me or call me at the given numbers:
* Sulabh Gram, Mahavir Enclave, Palam-Dabri Road, New Delhi-110 045
Mobile: 9999427777, 9999829999 Tel.: (011) 25031518, 25031519, Fax: (011) 25034014, 25055952
Email:bindeshwarpathak@gmail.com
info@sulabhinternational.org/contact@sulabhinternational.org/sulabhinfo@gmail.com/sulabhinfo1@gmail.com
Website: http://www.sulabhinternational.org / www.sulabhtoiletmusem.org