Innovations in Sanitation: Toilet Tech

Picture a toilet. Is it made of porcelain, perhaps? Does it have a water-filled bowl to collect the waste? Is the waste then flushed into a sewer system?

Does the toilet you imagined have a tank, fed by indoor plumbing? Does the tank hold clean water that is used to refill the toilet bowl?

If you pictured something like this,

800px-Australian_Flush_Toilet

chances are that you live in a part of the world where water is relatively plentiful. It’s a fair bet that you have indoor plumbing. And probably all of your neighbours do, too.

Flush toilets are a familiar part of everyday life for many. However, some areas of the world lack the resources to support flush toilets.

India’s water crisis makes flush toilets an impractical solution for the country’s sanitation needs. While flush toilets need no electricity to operate, their water requirements would be impossible to meet.

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Innovations in Sanitation: New Waves in Water Management

Kancheepuram Canal, Tamil Nadu (Photo credit: McKay Savage, Wikimedia Commons)

Kancheepuram Canal, Tamil Nadu (Photo credit: McKay Savage, Wikimedia Commons)

Overflowing Problems

Disease-causing bacteria and other pathogens lurk in much of India’s water supply. This is largely caused by the improper disposal of waste, including agricultural runoff.


Although access to drinking water has improved, the World Bank estimates that 21% of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water. In India, diarrhea alone causes more than 1,600 deaths daily—the same as if eight 200-person jumbo-jets crashed to the ground each day.

– water.org: “The Water & Sanitation Crisis in India


India’s water crisis is caused by a combination of factors, including poor government planning, government corruption, and mismanagement of human and industrial waste.

India is certainly not alone in facing a water crisis. However, as the second most-populous nation on Earth, the magnitude of India’s water crisis eclipses that of most other countries. Continue reading

Volunteering to Change the World

Why Volunteer?

Not all worthy causes come with a multi-million dollar budget. This makes the causes no less worthy or important. It makes the work no less necessary.

Charities, nonprofit organizations (NPOs), and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) must focus the bulk of their funding on helping the recipients of their programs. Most NPOs and NGOs simply do not have the revenue to pay all the people needed to administer their programs and services. Paying all of their workers would mean taking away crucial funding from the organization’s mission.

LEAF Society, India [leafsociety.in], celebrates International Volunteer Day on 5 December, 2015. When you volunteer, you speak for the causes you care about.Volunteers level the playing field. Continue reading

Sanitation and Freedom

As you’re reading this blog post on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, you’re probably not thinking much about the circumstances that gave you the ability to read.

Certain things are so basic to our everyday lives that we never give them much thought. We use them, day in and day out, and only miss them when they are out of commission. Even then, we probably don’t contemplate the long-term impact of their loss. We’re too busy thinking of our short-term annoyance.

These are simple, everyday things—like running water, and indoor plumbing.

Sanitation and Education

Imagine what it might be like growing up as a young girl without access to indoor plumbing.

Your most basic bodily functions must be performed out in the open, under leering eyes. Continue reading

Hero of the week: RAMYA-She didn’t need Naukri.com to get a job!

CaptureTrailer: Ramya had one thing in mind after joining college-to stand on her own two feet. But, there was trouble at home. Her grandparents weren’t getting their pension and on top of that, she was totally unaware of the pension schemes. She requested an RTI enquiring about the same.

Plot twist: The postman was vehemently against her going the RTI way. He chided her,  tried to give her fake information regarding RTI, before finally leaving her with a warning.  

What makes her special? Ramya wasn’t deterred by what the postman told her. Even after he threatened her, she decided to use this empowering tool.

Sidekick: Training on the Right to Information Act given by LEAF Society for the youth

Climax: She got information about various pension schemes. She also found a part-time job in a library (managed by the Youth Club). And oh…her grandparents?.. They got their pensions. Her job portal- http://rti.gov.in/

Ramya’s story will remain in the archives of Namakkal’s progress. She got double the reward ( the information required in addition to a job) and her grandparents also were benefited by the pension. If you too have a story to tell, then please do share it with us at hr.leafsociety@gmail.com and inspire others with your story rather than your Facebook posts.

Click here to read about other real-life heroes.

Our droplets become an Ocean

Remember when we were always told to wash our hands before and after our meals, and after using the toilet? Remember, the last time you went for a road trip, and flinched at the sight of the open toilet, or the open field you had to temporarily use as the toilet? Well. that’s the daily regime of over 50% of our population which, defecates in the open.

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