Vigyan Bhawan is usually a place where one finds government dignitaries and policy-makers--sometimes intellectuals. Between November 18 and 21, it attracted a somewhat different crowd. The occasion was a sanitation exhibition organized by the Union Ministry of Rural Development. It was held along the sidelines of the Third South Asia Conference on Sanitation. The usual suspects--politicians and other state dignitaries--were there. But visitors came for the exhibits.
There was 55-year-old Mangalathamal from Musri village in Tamil Nadu, who related her experience in promoting ecosan toilets--in her village. The toilets which segregate urine and faeces, and simulate a natural process to break down the waste into a dehydrated odourless compost-like material, were a big hit. Delegates from Nepal ordered 300 such toilets.
Another theme of the exhibition was sanitation beyond toilets. As part of that theme, Exnora, an ngo from Vellore in Tamil Nadu, displayed products generated from solid waste.
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