Bio-toilet complex at Rishikesh railway station dedicated to people

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Bio-toilet complex at Rishikesh railway station dedicated to people

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 | PNS | Rishikesh

Meditation and sanitation came together in Rashikesh known as  the  yoga capital of the world as  a toilet complex was added to the Rishikesh railway station on Tuesday. The bio-digester toilets installed at the railway station are supported and sponsored by CSR initiative of BHEL in partnership with FICCI and the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA). Notably, this is the fifth public location in Rishikesh to benefit from the construction of this innovative and eco-friendly toilet technology and the third in the 25 such clusters of public toilets being built in partnership. The BHEL executives along with the representatives FICCI and GIWA were present at the inauguration of the bio-digester toilet complex.

Swami Chidanand Saraswati, president of Parmarth Niketan and the co-founder, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, said, “If India is to emerge as the first country in the world toilet is a must. Before we go to the temple we need the toilet. For me, the toilets come even before the temples because without a clean body we cannot have a clean mind. If the body and the mind are not clear finding clean surrounding is an impossibility. To me, sanitation is meditation. This is because until every woman and girl has access to adequate sanitation facilities the meditation and spirituality would come to nothing. Hence, if we long to place India first and the Indians first building toilet is an imperative. We do not think just one step would be enough. Our slogan now is - every step should be taken towards  the consummation of a Swachh Bharat.”

Sanjay Gulati, executive director (HEEP) BHEL, said, “BHEL is hailing in defence and industry as well as many other sectors. We are proud that we are one of the largest manufacturing industries under the Make in India campaign and our two largest manufacturing units are here in Haridwar.  So when the Swami called upon us to help the pilgrims streaming in the holy city to answer to their natural calls and propose installation of  eco-friendly, bio-digester toilet technology we readily and happily  agreed. We consider it as a true privilege and honour to be serving our country and the state, in particular, of bringing Swachh Tirth and Swachh Bharat, Swachh Rail and Swachh Bharat.”

Rakesh Sood, consultant to FICCI, said in his address that they had been able to take the bio-digester toilet technology to all corners of the country with the guidance of Swami Chidanand Saraswati. “FICCI is  happy to support the humble but important efforts and we look forward to continue  striding on this path together,” he added.

Yoga students studying at Parmarth Niketan were led by Laura Plumb, Ganga Nandini, from USA, Mica, from Mexico, Preeti from Norway. Besides,  there was a delegation of a  over a dozen yoga enthusiasts who were thrilled to engage in such Yoga off the Mat activities.

The project to build toilets would see the final construction of at least 25 such complexes similar to the ones built in Rishikesh out of which 17 have already been built, said Sadhvi Bhagawati. They would be set up all along the Char Dham route in Uttarakhand for the benefit of the pilgrims, tourists and villagers, she added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the bio- digester technology was developed by DRDO, using harmless anaerobic bacterial process which naturally dissolves all waste leaving a clear, odourless and virtually pathogen free water which can be further used for irrigation. The project ensures a product which is not just helpful for the people but it also supports and protects the natural environment.

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