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His Excellency

Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga Ambassador of the Netherlands to India, Bhutan and Nepal on the Sulabh Campus: July 12, 2016

His Excellency carrying the balls made from human waste which are dried in pits during a period of over two years. It is odourless and free of pathogens or germs—and a fit material to make the hard core of balls for children to play with!


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Speech Speech of H.E. Mr. Alphonsus H.M. Stoelinga, Ambassador of the Netherlands to India, Bhutan and Nepal on the Sulabh Campus: July 12, 2016 I am very grateful to Dr. Pathak and to all of you for receving me here and, of course, to Biswas for bringing me here. I have seen here everything i.e. the school, the museum, the technologies that you developed and what you are doing here is about hygiene; it is about education and it is also about skills. But foremost it is about putting an end to scavenging and to give a future to those whose work it was. Now as far as hygiene is concerned, it is so important that children must practise hygiene, and work in a hygienic environment because if they don’t do so - for examplethey get worms and they fall sick and they cannot go to school; it’s a strain on the society, its a strain on children’s future. The same is the case with separate toilets for girls. If there are no toilets for them in school, the parents don’t want to send their daughters to schools. Again this is a strain on their future. It results in a strain on the future of the country. So hygiene is must for every person. Hygiene is must a for society and hygiene is important for future of our economy. I am learning the hindi language and I can tell you: “It is better today to say to all the people of the world, ‘saff kijiye’ then to have to say tomorrow to our children ‘maff kijiye’.” So hygiene is important, education is important and what I have also seen here is skill development. The Modi Government has to create 12 million jobs per year. You contribute to giving people the skills to do these jobs. So, we also have to train people in skills, not only in academics, not only engineers, but also plumbers, carpenters, electricians. People who can work in factories, people who can repair things and a lot of skills that we have to develop and I have seen here that you are very active in this. I feel what you are doing generally here is making it possible for people to realize their potential. I daily read many Indian newspapers, and I hear speeches of people who are specialist in the matter: if India wants to transform itself it needs economic growth by 10 per cent. You are very very high at seven and a half per cent growth but in order to reach 10 per cent you need to engage all the brains, all the potential of all men and women. India has got 1.3 billion people, that means 1.3 billion brains, 1.3 billion talents. But there are people here walking around without education. We should educate them. Only if we empower them, the Indian society, the people and the economy will prosper. And you, Dr. Pathak, made a very important contribution here. I normally like to finish my speeches using Hindi words and hope you all understand Hindi, because I don’t don’t speak the other languages of India. ‘Mai sochata hun ki hamare desho ke aur logon ke sahyog se kamyabi milegi’. Thank you very much.

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Profile His Excellency Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga, Ambassador of the Netherlands to India, Bhutan and Nepal. After graduating in 1976, His Excellency Stoelinga worked for British Petroleum (Industry and Marketing) in Amsterdam. He joined the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1979 and was posted in Accra, Athens, Lusaka, at the Dutch Permanent Mission to the European Union in Brussels and at the Ministry in The Hague, responsible for the International Development Banks. Since 1995, His Excellency Stoelinga has held the position of Head of Mission in various countries and has been acting as the SecretaryGeneral of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder, Sulabh Sanitation Movement, welcoming H.E. Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga, Ambassador of the Netherlands, to India on the Sulabh campus.

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder of Sulabh Sanitation Movement, welcoming H.E. Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga. Sulabh worker Mrs. Nigar Imam welcomes the Ambassador.


Warm welcome on Sulabh Campus

Ms. Laxmi Nanda, a liberated manual scavenger welcoming the Ambassador.

Shri S. Chatterjee, IAS (Retd.), Former Secretary to Government of India and Executive President of Sulabh International welcoming the Ambassador The Ambassador meeting Shri Pankaj Jain, IAS (Retd.), Former Secretary to Government of India and Chairman of Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation

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God created the world, man created the Netherlands

A Day to Remember Many memories are sweet, but some of them are sweeter than the others. One such especially sweet memory for us was the visit of His Excellency Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga, Ambassador of the Netherlands, to the Sulabh Campus on July 12, 2016. We bring out this booklet to commemorate his visit when he met members of the Sulabh family along with a cross section of disadvantaged, disenfranchised people and the former scavengers, for whose emancipation we have been striving for more than 45 years. His Excellency Stoelinga is not a typical Ambassador, nor is the Netherlands like any other country in Europe. He has not only extensive experience in foreign relations but also illuminating education to understand the human situations which are not scripted in books or loudly said at public forums. After graduating in 1976, His Excellency Stoelinga worked for British Petroleum (Industry and Marketing) in Amsterdam. He joined the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1979 and was posted in Accra, Athens, Lusaka, at the Dutch Permanent Mission to the European Union in Brussels and in the Ministry in the Hague, responsible for the International Development Bank. Since 1995, His Excellency Stoelinga has held the position of Head of Mission in various countries and has been acting Secretary General of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His life, his work, his sensitivity has been far more than is reflected in his professional work. A leader of the developed society, he reflects the diversities of his country and his people who have been witness to all great events in Europe. The Netherlands is a highly developed country where most of the people speak standard Dutch.The country has a strong cultural tradition in music and arts, bolstered by the state benevolence and financial assistance. Benefiting from its key location at the mouth of the Rhine, the Netherlands has emerges as one of Europe’s most prosperous nations. Much of the coastal area lives below sea level protected by coastal dunes and artificial dykes. As much as 27% of the land area is below sea level, inhabited by 60% of population. No wonder, it is said that God has made the world and man has created the Netherlands. This is not the full introduction of the country. Its people, their work culture and their love for multi-culturalism make the Netherlands different from other European countries. “Netherlands” literally means “lower countries”, influenced by

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Welcome to the Ambassador by liberated scavenger women from Alwar & Tonk, Rajasthan

H.E. Mr. Alphonsus H.M. Stoelinga, Ambassador interacting with the liberated scavenger women

With liberated scavenger women from Alwar & Tonk, Rajasthan

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Welcome to the Ambassador by Widows of Vrindavan

Widows of Vrindavan greeting the Ambassador

With the widows of Vrindavan

Widows of Vrindavan greeting the Ambassador

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its low land and flat geography, with only about 50% of its land above sea level. Most of the areas below sea level are man-made. Since the late 16th Century, large areas have been reclaimed from the sea and lakes, amounting to nearly 17% of the country’s current land mass. The amazing reconstruction work in the country was possible because the entire population worked together. The Dutch Government works brilliantly with various partners such as the private sector, civil society organizations (CSOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and research institutions. Such cooperation enables knowledge, technology and networks to be pooled in the right and creative direction. NGOs play a vital role in a democratic society and provide a critical counterbalance to government and the market in the Netherlands. The Netherlands works through NGOs on matters such as trade union work, equal opportunities and promoting human rights. CSOs and NGOs are in touch with groups of people that would otherwise be very difficult, if not impossible, to reach. During his visit to the Sulabh campus, His Excellency showed in ample measure a glimpse of his country’s humanitarian greatness. He was gracious enough to meet all members of the Sulabh family and the liberated untouchables who used to clean nightsoil and suffered terrible discrimination and humiliation. He also met the women from Hirmathla village in Haryana where nobody now goes outside for open defecation as every house there has a toilet. The villagers of Nadia district in West Bengal were earlier suffering from the effects of arsenic water and are now recovering because Sulabh is treating and purifying the water from the ponds and rivers, making it safe for consumption. The widows of Vrindavan, who earlier suffered many discriminations and led a miserable existence, interacted with the Ambassador. It was amazing to see how His Excellency made everyone comfortable to open up and how he heard each one of them with empathetic interest. Our volunteers were pleasantly surprised because commoners like them seldom see these qualities in powerful people here. Persons of eminence generally remain in too much of a hurry to interact with common people, but His Excellency listened to everyone sensitively and responded and bonded with them beautifully. We would like to underline here that the sanitation scenario in India has improved considerably because of various Sulabh sanitation technologies invented. Now women use toilets instead of going out for relieving themselves (as they did earlier which also undermined

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their safety and dignity). Girls go to schools as they have toilets there and the untouchables, rescued from the unhygienic and subhuman occupation, now lead a dignified life on a par with others in society which was the dream of Mahatma Gandhi. We also visualized and implemented the concept of well-maintained public toilets at public places, tourist and religious places. But these things have to be broadened and scaled up. The Ambassador saw a glimpse of our achievements in different areas and he especially appreciated the Sulabh Public School where hygienic practices are followed in keeping the toilets clean. Manufacturing of sanitary napkins, keeping them safely and disposing them after use in the incinerator is a unique example in this country. His Excellency visited the full school areas and all sections, which delighted the students a great deal. He also saw our International Museum of Toilets which has the distinction to be the one of the finest toilet museums in the world. SULABH, A GAME CHANGER Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, the largest nationally and internationally recognised pan-India non-profit voluntary social organisation, has 50,000 volunteers on its rolls who work to promote human rights, environmental sanitation, health and hygiene, nonconventional sources of energy, waste management and social reforms through education, training and campaign. It is intellectually engaged in solving social problems. Sulabh has redefined sanitation, developed a scavenging-free two-pit pourflush, safe and hygienic on-site human waste disposal technology; a new concept in maintenance and construction of pay-and-use public toilets, being used by about 20 million people everyday; and generation of biogas and biofertilizer produced from excreta-based plants. It has set up an English-medium public school in New Delhi and also has a network of centres all over the country to train boys and girls from poor families so that they can compete in open job market. Sulabh, thus, seeks to set up a modern and humane social order based on social justice and equal opportunity. Sulabh makes a difference through its commonsensical, not spectacular, engagement with the core issues. It is all about keeping the world clean, and people healthy and happy, and abolishishing scavenging that defines the Sulabh Sanitation Movement. Compassion, technology, education, social awareness are essential for overcoming poverty, and sanitation makes a difference in the life of the poor whom Sulabh seeks to serve through its pan-India network. Besides other Gandhian initiatives promoted by Sulabh, it has succeeded in bringing toilet, once a taboo, to the centrestage of national debate, persuading Indian people to accept that hygiene is health and from health flows everything—productivity, economic growth, political and social stability and happiness. Our Prime Minister has accepted toilet as a mascot and a measure of national growth and has launched several plans to promote sanitation, an issue that Sulabh

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With the women from Hirmathla: A village in Mewat District of Haryana

H.E. Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga with the women from Hirmathla village, an open-defecation-free village in Mewat.

Women from Hirmathla village have a day with the Ambassador

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Sulabh Swachhta Rath: Chariot of Cleanliness

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has been intensely engaged with for more than 45 years. To make India clean and abolish scavenging and save scavengers from damnation is Sulabh’s supreme objective. Sulabh has so far liberated 1,25,000 scavengers and rehabilitated them in other professions and trained over 10,000 women in city slums in various trades, and has made 640 towns scavenging-free. Its twopit pour-flush technology has been recommended by UN agencies for adoption in developing countries. Sulabh excreta-based biogas is used in homes and other places for cooking and body warming.

H.E. Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga, evincing keen interest in the Sulabh Swachhta Rath. The Rath is equipped with the latest audio-visual gadgets, and is being used as Sulabh Swachhta information education and communication vehicle travelling across the country and spreading the message of Swachh Bharat and the Sulabh Sanitation Movement.

Sulabh has succeeded in persuading the governments to give national priority to sanitation, ban scavenging and punish those who still have dry toilets serviced by scavengers and give a series of incentives to the liberated scavengers on the pattern of the Sulabh’s Nai Disha campaign. Sanitation civilizes man, and that is why all great civilisations— Indus, Roman and Greek— had extensive sanitation system. In sum, sanitation is the winning idea whose time has come and Sulabh a model for others to follow.

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Glimpses of visit of His Excellency

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak and the guests in the Assembly Hall. His Excellency being felicitated by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak presenting the two-pit model to His Excellency in the Morning Assembly.

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Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak presenting a Madhubani tapestry made by the artists of Madhubani, Bihar, to His Excellency.

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak presenting a gift to H.E. Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga.

Ms. Usha Chaumar, the President of Sulabh International, also a liberated manual woman scavenger, welcoming the Ambassador.

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Sulabh Public School

His Excellency in computer class.

His Excellency in one of the classroom of the Sulabh Public School where 60 percent of the students are from the dalit communities and are taught in english medium.

Sulabh Vocational Training Centre

H.E. Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga interacting with the students in the tailoring class of the Sulabh Vocational Training Centre.

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Sulabh School Sanitation Club

H.E. Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga, Ambassador of the Netherlands to India keenly watching the process of making sanitary napkins.

His Excellency keenly watching how the sanitary napkin vending machine works.

His Excellency with teachers and students in the Beautycare vocational class.

His Excellency keenly watching how the incinerator machine works.

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Museum of Toilets

A Sulabh official of the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets explaining the exhibits to His Excellency.

His Excellency being shown the book-shelf type toilet from France, bearing the name of an english classic.

Artefacts at the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets

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His Excellency envincing a keen interest in the display boards which show the four-andhalf-decades journey of Dr. Pathak and Sulabh.

His Excellency with Sulabh officer having a glimpses of the display pannels which show the journey and the milestone of Dr. Pathak and Sulabh.

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Sulabh Two-Pit Ecological Compost Flush Toilet

Getting a detailed overview of the two-pit model which requires only one litre of water to flush

H.E. Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga appreciating the technological marvel and invention of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak.

A Sulabh official showing the treated water to H.E. Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga which has been taken out from the Sulabh Effluent Treatment Plant.

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Sulabh Biogas & Effluent Treatment Plant H.E. Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga, frying papad at the Sulabh kitchen where the biogas from the Sulabh toilet complex is used for cooking. It is more economical than conventional gas.

H.E. Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga, lighting the Mantle Lamp which uses biogas from the Sulabh Toilet Complex, as the source of energy.

A Sulabh official showing a pod of odour-free dried human excreta taken out from the Sulabh twopit compost toilet to His Excellency.

His Excellency watching a demonstartion of the Sulabh biogas being used as heating agent and warmer.

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Sulabh Purified Water ATM

His Excellency being presented a Book “Glimpses of Europe� authored by Shri S.P. Singh, Chairman, Sulabh International

His Excellency using the Sulabh Water ATM facility installed at the entrance of the Sulabh Campus.

H.E. Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga appreciating the Sulabh Purified Drinking Water Project.

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A memory note in the Guest Book before departure

Good bye till we meet again

Dr. Namita Mathur, Vice-Chairperson, Sulabh International Public Health Institute explaining to His Excellency the activities of the Sulabh Health Centre.

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SULABH INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANISATION In General Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council

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Sulabh Bhawan, Palam Dabri Road, New Delhi - 110 045 Tel. Nos. : 91-11-25031518, 25031519; Fax Nos : 91-11-25034014, 91-11-25055952 E-mail: info@sulabhinternational.org, sulabhinfo@gmail.com Website: www.sulabhinternational.org, www.sulabhtoiletmuseum.org

His Excellency Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga Ambassador of the Netherlands to India, Bhutan and Nepa  
His Excellency Mr. Alphonsus H. M. Stoelinga Ambassador of the Netherlands to India, Bhutan and Nepa  

His Excellency carrying the balls made from human waste which are dried in pits during a period of over two years. It is odourless and free...

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