Author – WIN Foundation
WIN Foundation’s vision is to support innovations for sustainable social impact in
(i) water and sanitation and
(ii) mother and child health.
In this, sanitation is a critical link connecting water supply, waste management and health.
Lack of proper public sanitation infrastructure leads to:
- Contamination and pollution in Water sources like lakes, wells, rivers, groundwater aquifers
- Poor drainage, in turn leading to stagnant water on ground, blocked / overflowing drainage, leading to water borne diseases, particularly in monsoon.
- Unhealthy work conditions for sanitation workers, particularly for those involved in cleaning septic tanks, sewage lines etc.
In addition to above, poor home sanitation like lack of toilets or unclean or broken toilets in poor or lower middle class communities lead to lack of personal hygiene and diseases. This affects women and children even more.
WIN Foundation projects improve sanitation directly or indirectly. We have supported innovations like disabled friendly toilet attachments, water saving toilet technologies and robotic septic tank cleaning systems.
i) Disabled friendly toilet attachment improves access to toilets for the vast population with physical disabilities, thus increasing their usage. WIN Foundation supported Oston Technology in initial stage trials in field. Now these products are being adopted in greater numbers.
ii) Water saving in flush toilets using hyperboloid technology developed by students from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, was the 1st prize award winner in the national Vishwakarma Innovation competition, jointly organized by Maker Bhavan Foundation and WIN Foundation. Toilet flushing requires a lot of water and this innovation can cut it down by about 70%.
iii) Septic Tank cleaning robotic system tackles the vicious problem of unhealthy, dangerous and undignified practice of manual cleaning of septic tanks. It also enables sanitation workers an avenue for sustainable microentrepreneurship. Our continuing support to Solinas, the startup manufacturing septic tank cleaning robotic system, originally developed at IIT Madras, aims at greater adoption of this technology by sanitation workers.
Our water conservation projects involving ground water recharge and roof rainwater harvesting, while primarily aimed at conserving water, also provides an indirect but significant benefit of reducing water stagnation on ground, thereby reducing the clogging and overflow of storm water drains. WIN Foundation supports water conservation through participatory approach, which involves training and empowering village youth to implement water security projects in their villages. This ensures greater sustainability and knowledge based livelihoods.
WIN Foundation continues to look to support adoption of more innovations at grass root levels, through a multi-stakeholder approach involving institutions, startups, NGOs and other ecosystems players