MUMBAI: From banks in toilets, surprise gifts for using loos to making school girls the ambassadors of Swachh Bharat campaigns at village levels, the ‘Clean India’ session at the Indian Science Congress on Sunday tried to suggest ways to turn the ‘awful’ toilet experience to the ‘awesome’ toilet experience en route a Swachh Bharat.
“Indians are very weird,” said speaker Swapnil Chaturvedi, CEO, Samgra, citing examples of how citizens throw garbage all around instead of inside dustbins, and how they convert a corner into a garbage place. “Indians need divine intervention to stop people from spitting and pissing on walls,” he said, pointing to the photos of Indian gods on walls on subways as a possible way to prevent people from defacing the walls.
Talking on ‘Psychology and Technology for Cleaner India’, Chaturvedi, who works on community toilet solutions, said that we should aim to make going to toilet an enticing proposition for citizens, who at present defecate in the open or in toilets which are in a deplorable state.
Citing his work, he suggested introducing a banking system whereby people could deposit money at the community toilets and surprise gifts as incentives for people to use the community toilets. His project in Pune helped 180 people save Rs 60,000 through the toilet banking system.
The over two-hour long session was chaired by scientist R A Mashelkar, who heads the 19-member technical team that will execute the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The session saw speakers such as Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of the Observor Research Foundation, Rajeev Kher, CEO of 3S & Sara Plast Pvt Ltd, Pradeep Lokhande, Founder, Rural relations, and Swapnil Chaturvedi, CEO, Samgra and Uday Salunkhe, group director of L N Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research.
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