APDF to give toilets for underprivileged families

APDF to give toilets for underprivileged families

APD (Anti Pollution Drive) Foundation has taken up ‘Prati Manege Sauchalaya’ (‘Toilet For Every Home’), a novel initiative to provide toilets to the underprivileged sections of society.

The pilot project was launched in the house of Chandravathi, a beneficiary at Kunjathbail on Tuesday. Chandravathi is the widow of Poovappa.

Along with the toilet construction, the project will focus on educating the beneficiary and the general target group regarding the importance of using toilets and safe sanitation.

‘Prati Manege Sauchalaya’ is inspired by the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ launched by the Government of India. While there is an aim to eliminate open defecation by October 2, 2019, the United Nations too has given a call to end open defecation globally by 2025.

Social audit

Abdulla Rehman of APD Foundation said that Dakshina Kannada was declared open defecation-free in 2017.

“The report submitted following a social audit, however, stated that 4,590 households in Dakshina Kannada still had no toilets. The social auditing was carried out in all 230 gram panchayats and 366 villages in the district. As per the report, Mangaluru taluk itself has the most toiletless households (1,421), followed by Puttur (875), Belthangady (836), Sullia (852) and Bantwal (579),” he listed out.

“The report further states that 350 of the constructed toilets remain unused and 795 are shared among households. The problem, therefore, lies not only in providing sanitation facilities to those who are deprived of them but also ensuring that newly constructed toilets are utilised appropriately,” Rehman explained.

“Open defecation and poor sanitation cause severe malnutrition in children, and increase susceptibility to diseases like diarrhoea, intestinal worms, typhoid, cholera, schistosomiasis and trachoma, causing severe morbidity and mortality. Open defecation also poses a threat to the safety of women. Furthermore, most of India’s rivers contain contaminated water,” he pointed out.

He also said that the APD Foundation will work with local authorities in identifying low income households that do not have toilets and construct free toilets for them.

Spreading out

“Initially, we plan to reach out to families in and around Mangaluru. Later on, we will reach other parts of Dakshina Kannada and rest of the coastal region,” he stated.

“The toilets will be constructed as per the government and World Health Organisation standards. Construction of one toilet in Dakshina Kannada will cost approximately Rs 25,000. The APD Foundation will fund the project through the generosity of people and corporate donors. It has already identified sufficient number of donors to take up a few projects,” said Rehman.

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