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Triratna Toilet Block wins the Best Community Toilet Award

As the world marked the World Toilet Day on November 19 through various sanitation programmes, Clean India Journal announced the first Clean India Awards 2013 for Best Well Maintained Community Toilet Block in Mumbai area. Triratna Prerna Mandal, the community block toilet in Santacruz West, located in the western suburb of Mumbai city, has been identified as the winner by the jury consisting of experts from the Indian Cleaning Industry.

Triratna toilet block, constructed in 2002, has about 26 toilet seats both Indian & Western, ladies washroom, bathrooms and urinalsfor general public use too. More than 600 families holding family pass in the surrounding slum areas use this community toilet. In a day over 3000 people use the toilets for various purposes.

The selection was based on parameters that included maintenance, cleaning frequency, odour levels, facilities like handwash and waste disposal, toilet model, service consistency and fault management among others. Triratna toilet block has successfully tapped the opportunities, such as subsidy, solar power and other schemes in addition to support through donations, which have enabled them to install solar lighting and water heating facilities; thus saving on energy. The block is also recharging water from the nearby playground to use in the toilets. The block also has a floor above for office and commercial purposes like kitchen for preparing mid-day meals for Aanganwadi and running computer classes.

With a population of 1.5 crores, Mumbai is one of the most densely populated cities in the world.There are over 300 community block toilets across Mumbai. Three toilet blocks were shortlistedAzad Hind Welfare Community, Govandi, Ekvira Mitra Mandal, Dharavi and Triratna Prerna Mandal, Santacruz for the award out of which one was selected as the winner.

A Glance: Triratna Prerna Mandal, Santacruz

Toilet ownership: Community members

Toilet blocks: Separate bathrooms with 26 seats

Pass (Amount): Rs50 to Rs150

Normal cost: Rs2/- orRs7/- for baths

Daily income (monthly):Rs12,000 from passes and around Rs1000 from daily users

Expenses: Subsidised by Government of Maharashtra and an NGO. Solar power has lowered energy bills by 40%.

Water storage tanks: Ring well used

Awareness: Ceramic tiles easy to clean and also routine cleaning dissuades people from making them dirty. It also encourages users to refrain from making the place dirty.

Caretaker responsibilities: Maintenance of the blocks and collection of money.Security of female users.

Cleaning activity schedule: Toilets closed at night with only two units kept open for use. Thefemale section is openfor 24/7.

Facilities:Toilets cleaned as and when required as per the traffic. Soap also provided for hand washing.

People engaged to clean: Three people in two shifts

Cleaning practices: Bleach used every three days.Acid is also used sparingly. Water used for routine cleaning.

Septic Tank/Sewerage systems: sewerage systems available

New initiatives: Computer classes on the roof, CCTVs for security, Ventilation favoured over windows and dustbins placed at a height for sanitary waste. Focus on improving environment. A flour mill installed by self-help group. Composting of dry waste like flowers, etc.

Help from institutions:Subsidies for solar power, donations from corporate as part of CSR. Toilets maintained by collection.Corporation provides expertise.

“It is indeed heartening to know that we have won the Clean India Award in the civic category for Best Maintained Toilet Block. This award provides us with a huge platform to reach out and encourage other communities to place importance on the fundamentals. Toilets are used daily and are vital in a person’s life, it is necessary to give toilets its due so that it will provide benefits in time to come,” said Dayanand Jadhav, Executive President, Triratna Prerana Mandal.

The award will help raise the present scenarioencouraging the communities to go for the latest advancements in technology and automation in cleaning procedures toensure that the toilets remain sparkling clean. Along with the best community toilet block, Clean India Journalhas also come up with awards for the best-maintained government hospital and the best locality in maintaining cleanliness & hygiene for civic category of Clean India Awards.

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