World's Largest Toilet COMPLEX
nhygienic conditions due to lack of basic toilet facilities are more appalling and revolting in pilgrimage centres in India than at other places for the simple reason that these centres are sacred places for the pilgrims. For this reason, Sulabh International chose to build adequate and goodquality toilets at Pandharpur, one of India’s most popular pilgrimage sites, which is located in Sholapur district of Maharashtra. This effort, it may be added, is in continuation of Sulabh’s long standing commitment of building toilets at important religious places across the country and at other significant public places. Vithoba or Vitthal, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, is the reigning deity of Pandharpur, and the deity’s temple is located on the banks of the river Bhima, which is often called Chandrabhag. The temple attracts more than 12 lakh pilgrims for the Ashadhi Ekadashi Yatra every year. During this and other yatras (such as Ashadhi Yatra, Kartiki Yatra, Chaiti Yatra, Maghi Yatra)and two Aartis in a month nearly one crore pilgrims visit the holy shrine at the Vitthal temple every year. But this pilgrimage town is in a state of neglect. During the Ashadhi Ekadashi, due to the overflowing crowds and lack of adequate toilets and other amenities for pilgrims, Pandharpur gets desecrated and is converted into a pathetic and unhygienic town. Especially the lack of basic toilet facilities has become the bane of Pandharpur. The good news is that the Maharashra Government and Sulabh International have entered into an agreement to ensure cleanliness in the holy town of Pandharpur. In the wake of the call of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to put an end to the ugly practice of open defecation, Sulabh is constructing in Pandharpur the world’s biggest toilet complex in cooperation with the Government of Maharashtra.
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The Government of Maharashtra (GOM) took cognizance of the filthy condition at Pandharpur and initiated the Pilgrimage Development Plan for which Sulabh International proposed phase-wise implementation of a necessary toilet facility, which was approved by the executing body of GOM. Sulabh International has completed the execution of the phase I (434 seats) before Ashadhi Yatra 2015 with the facility being used by over two lakh pilgrims. Phase II (983 seats) was made operational before Ashadhi Yatra 2016 which was used by over 4.5 lakh pilgrims. The ongoing phase III (1,441 seats) will be made operational before Ashadhi Yatra 2017. It is estimated that more than 6.5 lakh pilgrims will be able to use the said toilet facility every year thereafter. Along with the basic toilet and bathroom facilities other amenities like locker rooms, changing rooms and medical aid have been provided to the pilgrims. In brief, Sulabh has so far constructed eight toilet complexes consisting of 1,417 toilet units at Pandharpur. About 1.5 lakh people use the toilets everyday. Altogether 23 good-quality toilet complexes consisting of 2,858 toilet units will be constructed with provisions for lavatories, bath cubicles and urinals. There will be special toilets for physically challenged people, besides 397 toilets for VIPs. Almost four lakh devotees will be able to use these toilets on the occasion of special yatras. Moreover, hundreds of pilgrims can take bath together at this complex, along with availing as mentioned the facilities for lockers, dressing rooms, and medical treatment. Sulabh, thus, is endeavouring to create a clean and hygienic atmosphere in Pandharpur. Sulabh is striving to fulfill the dream of the Honâ€™ble Prime Minister by making the places around the holy shrines clean and open-defecationfree.
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Published on Jan 27, 2017