Social enterprises bringing improved sanitation for India’s poor
Due to a lack of proper sanitation facilities, about 638 million people in India defecate in the open making India as the largest country with the open defecation problem. It not only leads to hazardous diseases but as Ban Ki-moon puts it “toilets play a crucial role in creating a strong economy. A lack of toilets at work and at home has severe consequences,”. This World Toilet Day, Impactpreneurs lists few notable social enterprises which are actually making India swachh (clean).
- Aim: To provide affordable, aspirational and accessible sanitation.
- Services: Samagra provides ventilation & lighting, sanitary dustbins, kids accessories, door to door surveys and community workshops.
- Operating Model: Samagra motivates its members to use hygienic mediums by rewarding them with LooRewards program. The program rewards the toilet users with points which the families can use for things they value like cell phone minutes, hand soaps, sanitary napkins, fortified snacks etc. They also give feedback to the families by comparing their performance with their neighbours.
- Amazing Factor: The founder of Samagra, Swapnil Chaturvedi is famously known as the “Poop Guy”.
- Aim: To promote portable, hygienic and eco-friendly solutions for sanitation.
- Services: eToilet is a highly innovative solution which caters to the problem of sanitation. It is India’s first electronic public toilet.
- Operating Model: All one has to do is just insert a coin and the gate of the toilet opens automatically switching on the lights. With every 3 minutes of usage, it automatically flushes with 1.5 litres of water. If the usage is prolonged then it uses 4.5 litres of water. Moreover, it cleans the floor after the usage by 5 or 10 people.
- Amazing Factor: It has won 43+ awards globally and nationally.
- Aim: To emancipate the scavengers from untouchability and dignify them.
- Services: Two Pit System, Biogas Technology, Effluent Treatment System, Solid Waste Management.
- Operating Model: Two Pit System is better than One Pit System as one pit of the Two Pit System is used one at a time and can be cleaned by the householder. It is free from foul smell because of long term digestion. The biogas technology used by Sulabh has been approved by the MNRE.
- Amazing Factor: The founder of Sulabh, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak is the Brand Ambassador of Swachh Rail Mission.
- Aim: To promote sustainable sanitation and sustainable water management.
- Services: DTS Adarsh Vidyalaya, DTS Kamalini Kuteer, Water Saving Urinals COEP, UDDT Thergaon, DTS Sarole Pathar, DTS Oasis, Kolwan- Nanegaon, DTS at HCC Assam.
- Operating Model: They train people in the means and methods of sustainable sanitation and water management. They also provide sanitation training in schools and train trainers of community advocates.
- Amazing Factor: Apart from their training and projects, they conduct activities where they encourage the masses to take part.
- Aim: They aim to promote portable restrooms which are constructed by using recycled materials.
- Services: Mobiloo Standard Restroom, VIP Solar Elite Restroom, Wheel Chair Accessible Restroom, Johnny’s Box — Ladies only Restroom, Cleaning and Maintenance Services, Cleaning of Existing Toilets, Deodorisers.
- Operating Model: They use DRDO Biogas Digester which neither requires sewage treatment or drainage system. They also operate low-cost toilets, so that it can be afforded by all. Hence, supporting the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
- Amazing Factor: It is India’s first professional company which has started portable restrooms.
6. Wockhardt Foundation
- Aim: To improve the living standards of the poor, needy and weak.
- Services: Among 19 programmes they have two programmes Pronto Toilet and Pronto Bio-Toilet which aim to curb the problem of sanitation. These programmes were also aimed to support Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
- Operating Model: Through Pronto Toilet, they strive to construct solo latrines in each school and community. While the Pronto Bio-Tiolet is a means through which solid wastes are managed.
- Amazing Factor: It has undertaken the goal to establish toilets at more than 60000 households in Orissa.
- Aim: To provide sustainable sanitation and livelihood.
- Services: Waterless Urinals, Uree Clean, Waterless Urinal Kiosk, Modular Toilets,
- Operating Model: Human excreta contains harmful substances (nitrates and phosphorous) which need to be treated before disposing it into water bodies. Excess of salt blocks and damages the drainage system. Hence, they have developed products like waterless urinals and uree clean.
- Amazing Factor: They run Ekam Innovation Award which encourages students to participate in the competition and bag the award. Moreover, they conduct a fully paid excursion called Ecowalk for the winners.
- Aim: To end the open defecation problem across the country.
- Services: Bio Digester Tank System (BDTS) and AMI (Anaerobic Microbial Inoculum)
- Operating Model: They construct eco-friendly and sustainable bio-digester toilets at those places where there is a lack of proper sanitation.
- X Factor: They sell extras of Control Discharge Toilet system (CDTS) to the Indian Railways.
9. Domestos Toilet Academy
- Aim: Apart from the major goal of providing secure sanitation in rural communities, they aim to train 250 sanitation entrepreneurs.
- Services: Domestos School Programs
- Operating Model: They not only educate people about sanitation but also provide them with jobs, improves their health but also increase their local economy.
- Amazing Factor: It is breaking the taboo related to toilets by talking about it in the society. It works in collaboration with Unilever.
10. SnapEX Overseas — GARV Smart Portable Public Toilets
- Aim: They aim to make sanitation easier, healthier and portable.
- Services: Stainless Smart Toilets
- Operating Model: They provide smart portable toilets which are equipped with GPRS. These portable toilets are stainless bio-toilets which are sustainable and eco-friendly.
- Amazing Factor: These toilets have LED lights, exhaust fans, automatic cleaning system and Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags.
The list does not end here, there are many more social enterprises which are toiling to eradicate the problem of open defecation. This is not their fight but is ours too. So, this World Toilet Day, let us make our own strategies to inculcate the habit of sustainable sanitation.
To know more about such amazing entrepreneurs visit Impactpreneurs.