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23% girls dropout due to lack of toilets in school, claim DRDO studies

DRDO’s Bio-toilets acclaimed by delegates of SAARC nations

Udaipur : Women are the worst sufferers due to lack of sanitation facility in India. According to studies 30% marginalized women are physically and sexually assaulted to access public toilet while 70% of teenage girls in Delhi slums experience humiliation every day. Due to shortage of toilet facility, 23% of adolescent girls drop out from schools. Veer V, Former Director of Defense Research Laboratory (DRDO), Tezpur shared many of similar shocking data related to the lack of toilet facilities in the country.

Veer’s lecture in an international conference on ‘Issues and Challenges for Emergent Sustainable Development among SAARC Countries’  held here by the Zoology department of the Mohanlal Sukhadia University (MLSU) focused on affordable and appropriate sanitation solution through Biotoilets, a model developed at the DRDO’s premiere research lab at Gwalior and Tezpur (Assam) which is eco-friendly solution fohuman fecal matter degradation. The model was exhibited here at the conference venue. Delegates from Nepal, Bhutan, Srilanka and other SAARC nations appreciated this technology” said Dr Arti Prasad, head of the Zoology Department, MLSU. In his lecture Veer said, 55% of all Indians approximately 597 million households do not have access to any kind of toilet. With approximately 13 million bucket latrines which requires scavengers to conduct house to house excreta collection, over 7 lakh people still make their living this way. In the DRDO’s Bio-toilet model, a group of anaerobic microbial bacteria digests the fecal matter into water and biogas. The water is safe to reuse for flushing or gardening and thus reducing load on sewage system. “ The technology has various advantages with its simplicity of design and construction, customizable for individual families and community use.

The technology is much better than the currently used septic tank system for disposal of fecal matter as it is high costing, takes more space and foul smelling” Veer claimed. The Bio-digester/Bio tank technology is transferred to more than 80 companies for implementation and it has been well accepted and utilized by the Railways to get rid of the nuisance of human feces open discharge on railway track/platforms. Hundreds of stainless steel made biodigesters are in operation in different trains. It is planned to install these biodigesters in all trains in the years to come.Lakshadweep administration has ordered 12000 biodigesters for all houses of its ten islands. Low cost single house biodigesters have been designed for rural sector of the country which is long-lasting, require little space, generate environment-friendly safe effluent and does not require any maintenance. “ It is an ideal component of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

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