Mangaluru, March 13, 2019: Following India’s announcement to be an ‘open defecation free country by 2019’, Mangaluru based NGO Anti Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation has kick-started a new initiative to build toilets for households and improve hygiene. Project Prathi Manege Shauchalaya (PRMS) was launched on 12 March 2019 after inaugurating the first toilet built by APD at a house in Kunjathbail.
Introducing the project, Melanie Rodrigues, a research scientist at Stanford University and the project convener of PRMS said, “After I came back from the US, I wanted to do something for the community and that is when I was made aware of this project of APD. More than a billion people defecate in the open while India contributed to 59% of the people. I’m glad to take part in this initiative so that we can provide higher hygiene standards to people in need.”
After launching the project Chief Guest Uday Nayak, Retired ACP Traffic, said, “There is a report that mentioned that about 4900 households in Dakshina Kannada district do not have toilets. Upon extensive surveying in the district, this number of households can receive individual toilets on the long run.”
Chandravati, the first beneficiary of APD’s initiative is an old lady who has been staying in Kunjathbail for the past two decades. “I have been living here for the last 20 years and my house was electrified just about a year ago while there was no toilet. I feel grateful to APD for their effort to build an outdoor toilet for me,” she said.
APD Founder and CEO Abdullah A. Rehman, who is also a member of the District Urban Development Centre (DUDC) which monitors the proper implementation of ODF schemes released the project brochures. “Although DK has been declared as an Open Defecation Free (ODF) district we still have several households without toilets. It’s important the government also initiates a drive to provide every household with toilet to improve sanitation and public health,” he said.
Arjun Rai, Director of APDF and Haron Fernandes, Chairman of Mangalore Round Table were the guests of honour. Team APD members Vanishree, Karl D’cunha, Rasmiya Sheik, Thanima Bekal and Dhanush Desai were present. Mahesh Nayak conducted the programme.