Science For Sanitation

Science For SanitationPREAMBLE:
S&T communicators need to recognize that improving the quality of human settlements would have far reaching effect on our daily lives and well being. The ideal `Science for development’ can be realized when environmental protection and sanitation are taken interdependent for sustainable development guided by S&T. Effective partnerships at all levels and cooperation are facilitated by scientific temper which is also the key product of S&T Communication. Access to sanitation, safe and healthy habitat is a strong function of scientific practices in communities and requires an enabling approach for the deprived urban and rural poor. This is necessitated due to prevalent community level inadequate planning and managerial capacities, lack of investment and technology, and insufficient mobilization and inappropriate allocation of financial resources, by lack of social and economic opportunities, etc. Many rural settlements face inadequacy of economic opportunities, especially employment, and of infrastructure and services, particularly those related to water, sanitation, health, education, communication, transportation and energy. Appropriate efforts and technologies for rural development can help to reduce imbalances, unsustainable practices, poverty, isolation, and environmental pollution. Such efforts can contribute to improved linkage of rural settlements with the mainstream of economic, social and cultural life. Underdevelopment and widespread lack of sanitation also inhibit full and effective enjoyment of human rights, equity and justice.

With the rampant ignorance of scientific solutions in the country for waste and waste water management coupled with totally un acceptable sanitation practices in large parts of urban and rural areas, there is a large gap on diffusion of appropriate knowledge available and capacity building on application of ecologically sustainable sanitation. There being a huge variety of local conditions in India there is urgent requirement to bring in innovation and further develop the techno managerial solutions to deal with the complexities of sanitation challenges. With respect to the United Nations Millenium Development Goals, Johannesburg Plan of Implementation has aimed to: “ Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people who do not have access to basic sanitation”. In addition to having high degree of risk associated with the fragility of nature and its poor understanding at the level of comman man, India like other developing countries also faces a high rate of slippage even from conventional sanitation practices.


S&T communication for sanitation literacy strives that the issues involved along with adoption of sustainable sanitation, are mainstreamed by way of sensitizing sanitation engineers and supervisor, municipal solid waste handlers, hospital waste handlers, paramedics , panchayat members, women, students, policy makers and business managers etc. This scheme aims to enhance the conventional and scientific knowledge by creating awareness and bevaiour changes in common man towards eco sanitation practices. The interventions seek to focus on the necessary changes in the prevalent sanitation systems or their utter absence. The approach places emphasis on remediation of polluted flows and over-riding the waste disposal with resource conservation and safe reuse/recycling. Innovative methodologies need to be supported to spread and enhance the reach and impact of messages on the sectors related to water and sanitation i.e. health, hygiene, solid waste and liquid waste management, water resources management, industrial resources management, environment, agriculture, urban planning and poverty reduction. Efforts are also needed to cover other aspects of knowledge management at community level through case studies, research in S&T communication and promotion of debate and discourse around sanitation.

Objectives of Scheme:

1. Create awareness and behaviour change in common man towards eco-water & sanitation
2. Spread and enhance the reach and impact of messages.
3. Aid community to embark upon action by fostering resourceful & scientific mindset and
capacity to think, decide & innovate.

Under the programme a gamut of activities, projects/initiatives are taken up through science base voluntary organizations, universities, home science colleges, technical institutions, research laboratories, etc. The state councils/departments of science & technology are actively involved and secure participation of students, teachers, activists, communicators, researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs on various technological issues concerning people. This aids the larger goal of RVPSP to foster scientific & technological temper amongst people.

This is third year that the majority of states have joined in implementing the programme, a month long campaign, ‘Science for Sanitation Month’ with sharing of cost basis. The indicative list of activities is as follows :
1. Resource Material Development/ IEC development activities
(manuals, posters, pamphlets, slide sets, scripts for nukkad natak, etc.)
2. Lectures on sanitation & hygiene
3. School sanitation & hygiene education:
- Teachers’ workshops
- School student’s workshop
- Inter-school Competitions for innovative strategies to improve hygiene.
4. Activities for Anganwadis
5. Recognition of outstanding performances. Activities for Municipal Waste Handlers/Sanitary
Supervisors/Hospital Waste Handlers/ Paramedical workers/Industrial workers, etc.
6. Activities for students/youth as knowledge based motivators for sanitation workers-messages
for recycling, waste segregation/management, etc.
7. Street Shows/ folk programmes activities/film shows, rally, etc., to sensitize community on sanitation & hygiene.
8. Utilization of infrastructure, Nirmal Gram facilities, etc., visits to Nirmal Grams/ Complementary Activities
9. Exhibition for low-cost sanitation, domestic & market waste-agri and animal waste treatment, disposal, water borne diseases, etc.
10. Exhibitions with film shows
11. Surveys of neighbourhoods, schools, public places by senior school students and discussion on findings.
12. Vaad-Vivaad (Debate Session at village haats, involving shop keepers and artisans.)
13. Training of WASH (water, sanitation & hygiene) monitors
14. Resource mapping for Panchayat members on vulnerable areas like village ponds open drains areas around wells, animal sheds, open defecation etc.
15. Project monitoring
16. Documentation of Activities
17. Reporting.

A feedback is being developed on limitations and potentials of the initiative as regards intended behaviour change, diffusion of best practices and accompanying growth of scientifc temper.


The effective sanitation literacy should bring social pressure on Municipal and Panchayat bodies, opinion leaders, decision makers, etc. on prioritization of hygiene, sanitation, waste treatment and disposal and other such issues. The community should be able to develop and implement affordable, appropriate, decentralized, hygenically safe, environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially acceptable eco -sanitation solutions.


Science For Sanitation 9.7 of 10 on the basis of 1137 Review.