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WaterAid/ Dieter Telemans

Recent posts

For almost 5 lakh Indians, using a public toilet means abuse and harassment

Less than a year after the Karnataka government honoured a trans woman with the state’s second highest civilian award, she had to face humiliation at the legislative assembly premises merely because she needed to use the toilet. Akkai Padmashali, 33, a well-known trans-rights activist, was presented with Rajyotsava award on November 1, 2015, for her... Read more

The Saviours of Sarsaiyya Ghat

Kanpur is the industrial hub of the state of Uttar Pradesh (also popularly known by the sobriquets, ‘Manchester of India’ or ‘Leather City of the World’) is famous for its Kanpuriya Holi and Ganga Mela. The Ganga Mela is celebrated at the city’s well known Sarsaiyya Ghat annually during Holi. This tradition is connected to... Read more

Breaking down the reality Of PM Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission

Earlier this year, Kunwar Bai, a 105-year-old woman from Chhattisgarh, reportedly sold off several goats to build toilets in her house. She was felicitated by the Prime Minister and made the mascot of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Kunwar Bai’s act was even lauded by several media outlets as a positive example. However, it has... Read more

Is your well-being in a health professional’s (clean) hands?

The world marks Global Handwashing Day every year on October 15. This year, let us bring the spotlight on to a group that we turn to keep us healthy, prevent and treat our ailments: health providers. India continues to battle pressing health problems such as deaths among new mothers and new borns, infectious diseases like... Read more

Swachh Bharat by 2019? Progress projections and the challenges of latrine use

The Swachhta Status Report 2016 developed by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) was released this month by the Government of India. Based on an extensive survey conducted in mid-2015, the report provides interesting insights on the sanitation situation in India. To highlight a few on the rural side: 45 per cent households reported having... Read more

WASH at Festivals: Experiences from the Simhastha Mahakumbh and Glastonbury

Simhastha Kumbh Mela was a religious gathering that took place on the banks of the river Kshipra in the city of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh from 22 April to 21 May 2016. Over 50,000,000 people were estimated to have attended the Mela in Ujjain over the month. Given the huge influx of people over a relatively... Read more

Wish We Had Better Healthcare?

Nearly 170 years ago in the Vienna General Hospital, the Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis discovered that infection rates and deaths among new mothers could be drastically cut if healthcare providers simply washed their hands with chlorinated lime solution. Around the same time in London (1848), John Snow, one of the fathers of modern epidemiology, drew... Read more

Towards an Open Defecation Free Ujjain

On a cold day in January 2015, the Commissioner of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Dr Ravindra Pastor (IAS), was reading a newspaper article on field trials by WaterAid India (WAI) and University of Delaware on a new toilet technology. Incidentally at that time, Dr Pastor was also up against the challenge of organising the Simhastha... Read more