December 14, 2018
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NGO's toilet installation scheme brings better sanitation to village in India

Sarisab Pahi, India, Apr 9 (efe-epa).- Residents of the northeastern Indian farming village of Sarisab Pahi were Monday answering the call of nature in a more hygienic setting after dozens of newly-built toilets were officially opened.

A total of 100 toilets were built here for the 900 villagers by the Indian NGO Sulabh International under its 'Toilet for Every House' campaign, an epa journalist reports.

Sulabh's founder Bindeshwar Pathak oversaw a handover ceremony for the toilets on Sunday.

"I'm committed to giving toilets to the poor," Pathak told the villagers at the event.

"Since you have the toilets now, maintain them, clean them and use them," he added, referring to the fact that in some remote villages where the only buildings are simple huts, some people use the concrete toilet structures for storage.

Teams from the NGO will be sent out later to help maintain the toilets and to check that they are being used properly.

Villagers in Sarisab Pahi, which lies about 40 kilometers south of the border with Nepal, previously relieved themselves in the fields outside the village, as there were no modern toilets here.

"(The new toilet) is really going to help me because it's hard for me to walk to the field. I'll definitely use it," an elderly woman named Gaytari, who lives alone, told epa.

Young girls in the village told epa that they are impressed with the new facilities because they no longer have to relieve themselves in the fields, where many women in India fear sexual assault, especially at night.

Sulabh, which is affiliated with the UN, operates its sanitation facilities programs in more than a dozen countries, and produces ecologically-friendly toilets from which biogas is recycled for use in cooking, lighting and electricity generation, according to its website.

The NGO has built and maintains more than 8,000 of its toilets across India.

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