Ahmedabad: The Honda India Foundation (HIF) in collaboration with Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation & Gram Panchayat of Vithalapur realized the need to build proper infrastructure for safe sanitation and has built 350 domestic toilets in the village.
Inspired by the Swachh Bharat mission of the Government of India, Honda India Foundation started this initiative in 2018 with the aim of making Vithalapur a village containing ‘open defecation’. As part of this mission, Honda India Foundation identified the households that would benefit from having toilets built in their homes. Since then, these 350 domestic toilets have improved the overall quality of life of more than 1750 residents of Vithalapur by promoting cleanliness and reducing open defecation.
Speaking about this initiative, Mr. Atsushi Ogata, Chairman of the Honda India Foundation, said: “Poor sanitation is a primary cause of many fatal diseases and has a direct impact on the environment. The Honda India Foundation recognizes the need to build healthy practices and hygiene in rural areas and aims to provide the people of villages with a basic infrastructure for safe sanitation to improve their daily lives. In accordance with the Swachh Bharat mission of the Government of India, Honda India Foundation has successfully built 350 domestic toilets in Vithalapur and plans to build 100 more such toilets. Going forward, we will continue our efforts to achieve long-term sustainable impact to make our society healthier, more inclusive and aligned with global health and wellness goals.”
While the general level of open defecation in the village has decreased significantly, the number of patients with skin diseases has also fallen from about 1,300 per year to 200 per year. The construction of a good infrastructure allows women and children of the village to use the facilities safely at any time of the day.
In addition to providing access to toilets to the people, the system also helps to reconnect the earth to the hydrological cycle. The waste from these toilets goes directly under the soaked pit from where it undergoes partial treatment to discharge purified water into the surrounding soil. This process, in turn, aids in recharging the water table.
Further, to ensure that outdoor defecation behavior is maintained, the Honda India Foundation is spreading awareness about adopting proper hygiene practices and sensitizing the community against open defecation by holding community gatherings and early morning visits to help people convince against open defecation.