Growing up in India’s rural environment inspired Anoop Jain, Prabin Kumar and Chandan Kumar to start SHRI (Sanitation and Health Rights in India).
This organisation has constructed self-serving toilet facilities in villages. Upon receiving a good response from the community, SHRI plans to contribute majorly towards making India open defecation-free.
Why Are Improved Sanitation Techniques Required?
When one of the founders of SHRI, Mr Prabin Kumar, was studying in school, he used to often get late for classes because he was forced to walk more than a kilometre to a riverside to defecate. Today, he has made it his mission to bring about a social change and build toilets in Bihar that communities can use for free.
Many organisations and government agencies have built toilets in India. However, people revert to defecating in the open because those infrastructures often break and are not kept clean. Ensuring the sustainability of a sanitation infrastructure is vital because it motivates consistent toilet use, which will end open defecation in India.
SHRI’s Motivation and Contribution To This Cause
SHRI provides toilets and safe drinking water to rural Indians who are currently living without these vital facilities. These people consequently endure catastrophic health, economic, and social outcomes, and SHRI aims at solving this by building community sanitation facilities.
Each facility constructed by SHRI is equipped with a minimum of 16 toilets, eight for men and eight for women, which are absolutely free to use. The facilities open at four in the morning and close at ten at night. They claim that the toilets constructed in five villages have been used up to 800 times in a day.
The SHRI facility has intentionally added the concept of working hours to encourage use by the citizens of the community. It has been an essential step in communities where people have normalised open defecation.
Human waste in the facilities is collected in a biogas digester. This concrete tank enables organic waste to decompose and produce methane gas. This energy source is later used to generate electricity which SHRI uses to operate a water filtration plant that filters up to 1,000 litres per hour.
The filtered water is then bottled and sold for half a rupee a litre. The money from the water pays for the maintenance and upkeep of the toilets. SHRI currently sells 3,000 litres of filtered water a day.
The revenue generated from the sale of safe drinking water offsets each facility’s operation and maintenance costs. This will dramatically improve health, social and economic outcomes throughout rural India.
Through these efforts, SHRI is helping the nation achieve the goal of becoming completely open defecation-free by 2019.