By Rusen Kumar
PUNE: Under the leadership of a philanthropic personality, Ramdas Mansing Mane, its firm Mane Group has invented an excellent quality of ready-made portable toilets by using scrape Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)/Thermocole sandwiched with concrete to reduce the weight and price of toilet which can be installed within two hours and with half of the price.
The Group has supplied more than 20,000 readymade toilets across 450 remote villages of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Tamilnadu spread around couple of thousand kilometres from Pune. The Mane Group has production facility of 30,000 portable toilets per year near Pune.
Mr.Mane shares that good bureaucrats are helpless and corrupted officials are barrier in the promotion of low cost sanitation technology in the country.
In an exclusive interview with Rusen Kumar, Managing Editor of IndiaCSR, Ramdas Mansing Mane, Chairman – Mane Group, has shared his vision and views on low cost affordable toilet design and Swachh Bharat Mission. Here are the edited excerpts of the interview:
Open Defecation is considered as one of the most challenging social issue by our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. According to you, how technology enabled design in sanitation and toilet can play an important role in achieving country’s sanitation goals of becoming an open defecation free nation?
I believe that only providing toilet to a common man is not solution to make the country a beautiful place to live. The common man expects various other advantages with using toilet, then only every common man uses toilet regularly.
Firstly, toilet should be homely comfort. Secondly, it should be aesthetically nice and of excellent quality with eco-friendly features. Thirdly, it should not be shabby and odour free and most important is affordable pricing. Finally, such toilets should have quick installation feature and easily available at the market place. These should follow with user guidelines to the common man on such initiatives and communicate benefits of such toilets. It would certainly help in understanding health benefits and ill effects open defecation.
Our Hon’ble Prime Minister is doing this work in excellent manner but it should be proven practically. Mane Group Toilets playing a major role by supplying high quality, homely comfortable, affordable priced, and easy installation featured toilets capable of installing within two hours such as within two hours. It also provides communications with respect to awareness on usage of toilets regularly. Therefore, Mane Group is ensuring customer satisfaction with respect to toilet production, installation and usage information.
According to you, what are the biggest advantages of Swachh Bharat Mission to promote sanitation related innovative designs and technology?
According to my opinion, Swachh Bharat Mission is an excellent idea of our Hon’ble Prime Minister. However, bureaucracy system in our country is inefficient and corrupted systems don’t provide support. However, some of the bureaucrats are good, honest and efficient but they are helpless and can do nothing. There are no quality checks on toilet installation and usage. Therefore, low quality, unhygienic, and misguided toilets are not used for the purpose of defecation. These are merely storage or housing livestock in villages.
Do you see any scope in toilet technology design and innovation for building toilets for rural India?
Yes, there is a huge scope in improving technology designs and innovation for manufacturing toilets meant for rural India. Considering this scope, Mane Group has set up new plant in Indipur MIDC Area, Pune District for manufacturing readymade toilets with capacity of 30,000 toilets per year. The plant has 7500 square meters of land (2 acres), 100 HP electrical power, water with an investment of over Rupees 2 Crores (Indian Rupees 20 million).
According to you, what kind of design and innovation is required for rural India making Open defecation free villages?
As per my opinion, we have to provide one readymade toilet and a septic tank or a Soak Pit and sufficient water to each and every family, then only it is possible to succeed in achieving our goal of Swachh Bharat Mission and making rural India open defecation free villages.
Making the high end technology work for the poor is the biggest challenge. Are Indian minds capable to evolve high end technology that can work for the deprived section of the nation?
I believe, making high-end technology will not work for poor and down-trodden people. The real fact is that most of the India population suffers from basic food and drinking water. These paramount priorities and having toilet should be second most priority. In this critical situation, how does high end technology work for poor people? If we are successful in solving the food and water issues, I am sure high end technologies will work.
How Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund make a difference in technological innovation for sanitation and building toilets?
Yes, CSR fund would make huge difference in innovation and technology improvement for sanitation and building toilets. CSR funds should be directed through head of the village ((Sarpanch) in procuring readymade – ready to use toilets. Building toilet in rural area is very challenging and cumbersome process from access to bricks to hardware and etc along with access to experienced and professional mason. These would cost over 35,000 Indian Rupees and over 2 months of construction duration. However, Mane Group toilet is available at INR 15,000 with immediate installation and ready to use within 2 hours.
How innovation and creativity is good for the country like India and how it can help in achieving high level of Democratic values?
Portable Readymade RCC Toilet’s innovation and creativity is viable and very good for country like India. These innovations would help in reducing manufacturing, installation and price by half. It would help in achieving spread and access thereby ensuring high level of democratic values. People will get access to good technology in less price.
What are the biggest issues to promote technology enabled designs in sanitation that need to be address at earliest?
The scarcity of water, lack of awareness of people about sanitation and critical financial condition – these are biggest issues in promoting technology and innovation.
Describe about your product innovation in Sanitation and how it is uniquely designed and is helpful to address sanitation or toilet building related issue?
We produce readymade RCC portable toilet in affordable price and we have already supplied more than 20,000 Ready Made Toilets to common men in 450 villages in rural and urban area in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Goa, Telangana and Odisha under the Swachcha Bharat Mission, Sant Gadgebaba Gram Swachchata Abhiyan and Nirmal Gram Yojana since 2007 no profit – no loss basis. We would continue to do so. We have started manufacturing luxurious models of Ready Made Toilets using Thermocole Sandwich Pre-coated MS sheet panel under the Amol Thermozell Light Weight Concrete, one of the units of Mane Group of Companies, to cover the additional expenses in producing readymade ready to use toilets for rural India. Our no profit – no loss model is a great contribution to make available toilet for every rural household. Providing low cost toilet is my passion and it is my way to serve the people.
(Edited by Nirbhay Lumde)