Mumbai: Union Minister, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Narendra Singh Tomar, and eminent film personality, Shri Akshay Kumar, today undertook a toilet pit emptying exercise in Reghwan village, in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh. The Minister and Shri Kumar personally led a team of senior officers of State and Central government, to a household in the village that has adopted a twin pit toilet model in their toilet, and proceeded to empty the filled pit of the toilet and held up the compost found in the toilet in their hands to demonstrate that the exercise is perfectly safe and that there should be no stigma attached to it.
In his Mann Ki Baat in February 2017, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, had appreciated a similar exercise conducted in Warangal district of Telangana. He had also called upon public personalities from various walks of life to join in creating awareness about safe, “waste to wealth” toilet technology.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that, under Swachh Bharat Mission, twin pit toilet technology is the most preferred, safe and low-cost technology, promoted among all rural households. He said that a pit in a standard twin-pit toilet fills up in roughly 5 to 6 years, and the waste may then be easily re-directed to the second pit by the members of the household. He added that in another 6 months to 1 year, the waste in the filled pit decomposes completely, and turns into safe-to-handle compost, which is rich in NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) nutrients, which makes it ideal for use in agriculture. He heralded this as a great example of creating wealth from waste.
He encouraged State government and influential figures in society to generate awareness about the above facts as part of their grassroots information, education and communication (IEC) efforts and public appearances, respectively. He appreciated the laudable beginning made by Shri Kumar in this regard.
Akshay Kumar spoke about the myths, biases and stigma against handling of decomposed human waste that continue to pervade most rural communities. He said that such safe toilet technologies must be adopted and made a plea to all citizens of India to stand up against discrimination and to take pride in installing, maintaining and cleaning their own household toilets for the health and dignity of their families.
Following the Minister and Shri Akshay Kumar, Member of Parliament from Madhya Pradesh, Shri Subhash Patel, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, Additional Chief Secretary (Panchayat and Rural Development), Madhya Pradesh; and other senior district officials also proceeded to empty a toilet pit in the village. The exercise was followed by a Swachh Bharat Mission review meeting with the district and State officials in Indore.