Those who tend to our farmlands don’t really get to eat first or enough. Those who build our malls don’t really get to shop in them. Those who build our schools don’t really get to send their kids to those schools.
Amidst the chaos building up, under the flyovers outside Mayur vihar Phase 1 metro station, an educational breeze blows unrestricted by the geography or the demography of its surroundings.
Vanphool schools have existed around the yamuna khadar since their inception in 1993. Their importance to the communities of workers who work in the farms near yamuna and idol makers and other small scale vendors and labourers has withstood time and politics for about three decades.
So when the time finally came for us to be of some help to this generous institution, we jumped at that chance. They contacted us through an NGO called Seeds India who help run the school effectively.
Their call to us was regarding the lack of sanitation structures for women/girls who work or study in the school. We proposed Bibiyan da toilet , a version of The humble toilet built for women. The ease of assembly and disassembly of the humble toilet made it perfect for the school that has had to shift themselves physically due to various number of reasons. What they needed was a low maintenance and easily movable place for sanitation and the humble toilet ticked all of their boxes.
First a 6 feet deep pit was created for the disposal of the waste. Then a sheet of tarpolin was spread over it to cover all angles of the pit. Then into that tarpolin covered pit we placed three rings made of concrete about two feet in height and plastered it from the inside to make it leak proof.
By the time the pit was built and finished up the toilet had been assembled and was ready to be installed. The toilet weighs about 200kgs when disassembled. It generally takes us about 40 minutes to assemble it and around two hours to make the pit and install the toilet but with the help of the ever zealous Staff at the school especially the founder of the school we got it done in no time.
After we were done installing it the girls and the women of the school were given a basic
demonstration of how to use the toilet. They were taught about how the humble toilet being mostly waterless helps them maintain it better, the importance of saw dust as a waste disposal agent and how recycling plastic helps us in the present and in the long run. Their reaction to our toilet and basically towards us filled us with immense pride and gratitude.
We can’t thank the school enough for the work that they do for the communities they serve.
We will be ever so grateful to them for having given us a chance to help them in ways we know how.
Thank you Vanphool.
Written by: Debanshu Sen Gupta