Tag Archives: Clean India

“Holistic approach to sanitation issues”

A recent post on dailypioneer.com by M Venkaiah Naidu talks of a more holistic approach being needed to achieve total sanitation in India. There no doubting the progress that’s been achieved since the Swachch Bharat Mission was launched in 2014.

“This is reflected in the physical progress achieved under the mission until now, which includes the construction of 29,18,669 individual household toilets and 1,10,665 community and public toilets across all cities and towns.”

But a critical next step, as Naidu points out, is the handling of waste – more specifically, solid waste. This is where the holistic approach referenced in the article comes into play.  As ODF slowly but surely becomes a social practice of the past, India needs to come up with safe, and effective handling and processing of all of the fecal sludge services hadn’t been collecting until recently.

“With 475 cities certified Open Defecation Free (ODF), it is equally critical to put our efforts towards the safe collection, treatment and disposal of all human waste that is collected from onsite sanitation systems such as septic tanks, in order to achieve safe, sustainable sanitation for all.”

While it’s always heartening to see progress in India, that very same progress is also shedding light on how complicated it is to bring proper, safe, and total sanitation to every human on the planet.  Luckily, many cities and municipalities in India are beginning to show up to face this task.

“To address this issue, the Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Ministry is committed to helping States and cities make rapid improvements in managing their faecal sludge, and has launched the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, which focuses on the provision of sewerage facilities and septage management in 500 cities across the country.”

The whole piece worth a read. It gives some interesting insight to FSM and the challenges ahead. Read the entire article by clicking right here.

“Autonomous Beta-Test Toilet Up and Running in India”


A post on our sanitation system was recently published by our partners at Duke University. Duke University has played a crucial role in getting the recent beta implementation of our toilet installed and functional at the CEPT University in Ahmedabad.

In the post, they reference the recent improvements we made to our liquid and solid waste processing units, as well as a new process control system to makes our a system that much more autonomous.

“This is the first fully automated test run for our experimental toilet in India, and we’re all very excited,” said Jeff Glass, professor of electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke, who has led the team responsible for the liquid disinfection technology. “This is a huge milestone for the overall project led by RTI that is very important to all of us that are involved.”

To read the post in its entirety, click here.

“For toilets, money matters”


In a recent report published in sciencemag.org (login required) they discussed the complicated nature of getting toilets into the places that need them via incentives.

In the article, they cover the various ways that different countries have tried to get toilets into households and, as we’ve also found in our own field work, it’s proven to be quite complicated.

“But exactly how to get there is surprisingly controversial. Some nongovernmental organizations and government officials in developing countries have long pushed for education campaigns — teaching people about the health benefits of using toilets. Others advocate subsidizing latrine costs for the poor, but some economists argue that financial aid for cheap toilets could backfire by discouraging those who don’t receive it from buying latrines on their own for a higher price.” – excerpt from the article “For toilets, money matters”, by Jocelyn Kaiser, in Science Magazine, April 17, 2015, issue 6232

It’s an interesting read that spans successful studies/trials in Bangladesh, to the cultural aspects that are keeping India from their government’s goal of ending the practice of open defecation by October, 2019.

If you’d like to read the entire article, you can find it by clicking here.

Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday Remembrance Calls Attention to the Unfinished Business of Sanitation in India.


October 2nd 2014 saw India’s Prime Minister launch the “clean India” initiative putting improved sanitation clearly on his agenda.

From the article “Invoking Gandhi, Modi vows to ‘Clean India’ by 2019. Is that possible?” posted on csmonitor.com:

“After so many years of independence, do we still want to live in filthiness? Can’t we resolve this much?” Modi asked, after sweeping a street. The government has pledged that everyone in India will have access to a toilet by 2019 and called on individuals to contribute by volunteering 100 hours a year to cleaning.

Read the entire csmonitor.com article here.