New Delhi: Dr Suhas Vithal Mapuskar was a true sanitation pioneer and he worked actively on native technology and community-based solutions to lead the country towards a clean revolution. The achievements of his life have been greatly extraordinary and as part of the NDTV Dettol Banega Swachh India Campaign we salute his selfless dedication towards the cause. Dr S.V Mapuskar was that person to bring about a change with his efforts and he made a connection between health and poor sanitation way back in 1959.
A government doctor appointed in Dehu primary health centre in 1959, he was not just interested in curing diseases but also in preventing them. He noticed that it was due to unhygienic conditions and poor sanitation, that most patients faced health ailments.
“When he moved to Dehu, his decision to make a simple trench toilet for himself with used medicine cartons to form a wall around the bathroom was what started the revolution,” said, Dr Mapuskar’s daughter, Dr Shilpa Ravi Narayanan.
A journey he started as a Swachhta Doot six decades ago, Dr Mapuskar initiated a worm infestation survey wherein he explained the origin of the infection through infected faeces and the other with a soil sample. Both the samples had worm eggs which helped convince the residents that defecating in the open was the origin of infection. Dr Mapuskar did realize the needs of rural sanitation were different from urban sanitation.
His commitment to the cause led to many innovations; not only toilets but also managing the waste from it.
He was not a trained engineer but along with his practise as a doctor, he studied himself, tried different innovations and taught others about public health and engineering as he was very compassionate towards a healthy village, added Dr Shilpa.
90% of the village had toilet coverage by 1980, and by 2004 there were 800 two pit washrooms. 100 were based on biogas plants, and 100 were based on night soil converted to biogas plants. Later, DOSIWAM (Decentralised on-site integrated waste management) was developed from community biogas plants. Today it is implemented in 25 sites across the nation. People in Dehu have been using this system for over 25 years and it the maintenance free.
Ulhas Anand Mapuskar, Dr SV Mapuskar’s nephew told us how they are taking his legacy forward. “We are working so that we can put the system in more places and the advantage of DOSIWAM is not only free maintenance but this technology converts the excreta into bio gas.”
Dr Mapuskar brought about this change through awareness campaigns, experimentation with technology, planning and executing projects by mobilizing the community and making them stakeholders. He was conferred with Nirmal Gram Puraskar Award from Former President Late APJ Abdul Kalam in 2006 and he has been honoured with the Padma Shri in 2011. Dr Mapuskar was someone who made Swachatha his goal well before Swachh Bharat became a government initiative.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.
Leaving No One Behind
Delhi’s Northwest District Launches 4-Day COVID Vaccination Drive For Transgender People
Activists say misinformation, lack of proper documents and digital divide are to be blamed for the low vaccination coverage in...
5.22 Per Cent Transgender Persons Vaccinated Till Now; Activists Say Misinformation, Lack Of Digital Knowledge Adding To Their Problems
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also requested states to organise separate mobile COVID-19 vaccination centres or booths...
Discrimination And Barriers Make Access To Quality Healthcare A Challenge For Many Transgenders
Transgender individuals have specific healthcare needs; however, they face multiple obstacles to accessing quality health care ranging from social stigma...
Uttar Pradesh’s First Transgender-Only Toilet Built In Varanasi
According to an official at the municipal corporation of Varanasi, the operation and maintenance of the toilet complex has been...
Mental Health Explained: What Is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?
PTSD is an intense physical and emotional response to thoughts and reminders of the event: CDC, United States
How Can Parents Support Children Dealing With Mental Health Issues Like Anxiety And Depression
Remember, a change in a child’s behaviour like mood swings and angry outbursts is an indication of inner turmoil, said...
Upward Trend In Suicide Cases: How Can You Identify Red Signals In Time?
Studies show that suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-29 year old in India. What compels young adults...
Each COVID-19 Surge Poses A Risk For Healthcare Workers: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The surging Delta variant is heaping on fresh trauma as the United States and other nations begin to study Post-Traumatic...
Depression Can Be Classified As Serious Illness In Context Of COVID-19 Pandemic: Gujarat High Court
The Gujarat High Court set aside the cancellation of registration and admission of an engineering student by a government college...
U.N. Says World Likely To Miss Climate Targets Despite COVID Pause In Emissions
There is now a 40 per cent chance that the average global temperature in one of the next five years...
Make The Choices That Help Make A Difference, John Kerry, Special US Envoy On Climate Change Crisis
In an exclusive interview with NDTV, US climate envoy John Kerry talks about climate change emergency
Climate Change Biggest Global Challenge, India Committed To Combat It: Union Environment Minister
Speaking at the launch of Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue (CAFMD) under India-US Climate Clean Energy Agenda 2030, Union...
Rajasthani Artisan Creates Ganesh Idols From Environment-Friendly Materials
Unlike idols made out of synthetic materials which cause harm to water bodies after their immersion, eco-friendly idols that artist...