Ahmedabad: Realising the critical need of building proper infrastructure for safe sanitation, Honda India Foundation (HIF) in association with Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation, and the Gram Panchayat of Vithalapur has constructed 350 household toilets in the village.
Taking inspiration from the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission, Honda India Foundation began this initiative in 2018 with an aim to make Vithalapur an ‘open defaecation free’ village. Working towards this mission, Honda India Foundation identified the households that would benefit from the construction of toilets in their homes. Since then, these 350 household toilets have improved the general quality of life of more than 1750 people of Vithalapur by promoting cleanliness and reducing open defaecation.
Speaking on this initiative, Atsushi Ogata, Chairman, Honda India Foundation said, “Poor sanitation is a primary cause for many deadly diseases and have direct impacts on the environment. Recognising the need of building healthy practices and hygiene in rural areas, Honda India Foundation set out to facilitate the people of villages with basic infrastructure for safe sanitation to improve their day-to-day life. In line with the Swachh Bharat Mission of Government of India, Honda India Foundation has successfully constructed 350 household toilets in Vithalapur and further plans to build 100 more such toilets. Moving forward, we will continue our endeavor towards achieving long term sustainable impact to make our society healthier, more inclusive and aligned to global goals surrounding health and well-being.”
While the overall level of open defecation has substantially decreased in the village, instances of patients with skin diseases too have decreased from around 1300 per year to 200 per year. The construction of proper infrastructure has also enabled women and children of the village to safely use the facilities at any point of the day.
Along with giving access to toilets to people, the system also helps in relinking the earth to the hydrological cycle. The waste from these toilets goes directly under the soaked pit from where it undergoes a partial treatment to discharge treated water into the surrounding soil. This process in turn helps in recharging the groundwater table.
Further, to ensure that open defaecation-free behaviours are sustained, Honda India Foundation spreads awareness on adopting the proper hygienic practices and sensitises the community against open defecation by conducting community meetings and early morning visits to persuade people against open defecation.