Free Press Journal

World should adopt low-cost toilet initiative: US envoy 


New Delhi: Lauding the low-cost toilet initiative by an NGO here, US envoy to India Richard Verma on Thursday urged the adoption of the initiative worldwide to solve sanitation problems.

The envoy, who visited the Sulabh International centre here, said: “Such a fantastic technology should be replicated throughout the globe, as it is the only solution to ensure total sanitation coverage.”

Sulabh International works towards improvement of sanitation conditions across the country and also helps in the rehablitation of manual scavengers.

Verma also appreciated the contributions of Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak for having spearheaded the sanitation movement across India.

“I have been moved by the way Pathak and Sulabh International is changing the lives of millions of Indians. It’s highly commendable that his work is not only stopping open defecation in India but is also restoring the dignity of the marginalised and mainstreaming them in society,” said Verma.

He said the US government shares Pathak’s belief that providing toilets can be a tool for social change and that innovation was integral to improving the lives of those on the margins of society.

Verma enquired about the various types of toilets designed by Pathak and learned about the recently developed water treatment plant which directly improved the living conditions in arsenic-affected villages.

Sulabh has constructed nearly 1.3 million household toilets and 54 million government-funded ones based on the Sulabh design.

Besides, the US envoy interacted with some of the lady motivators who have taken several remarkable steps to raise the issue of toilets in different parts of the country. He also visited the toilet museum and got first-hand experience about Sulabh’s ‘Water ATM’ and bio-gas plant.