About the Institution
The Environmental Sanitation Institute (ESI) is a non-governmental organization that strives to provide a better quality of life to rural people and the urban poor through improved sanitation. ESI was established in 1985 under the guidance of Padmashri Ishwarbhai Patel out of its mother organization Safai Vidyalaya (Sanitation Institute). For more information log on to http://www.esigujarat.org.
The Environmental Sanitation Institute (ESI) envisions an India free from practice of open defecation and the inhumane task of scavenging human waste by hands; ESI works for a country where all inhabitants have their basic sanitary needs met, thus improving the quality of life for all.
To provide the rural and urban poor with access to basic sanitary facilities.
To improve rural and urban health through education, motivation and community participation.
To uplift downtrodden people, especially sweepers and scavengers.
To establish awareness and respect for the environment based on Gandhian values.
Ideology and Strategy
ESI is founded on ideologies that encompass the spiritual, mental and physical well-being of people and their environment. Based on Gandhian values, ESI focuses on environment and eradication of untouchability. The institute encourages community participation and takes a demand-driven approach to providing sanitary facilities in order to ensure their appropriate use. The technologies designed and promoted by ESI are based on ecological sanitation, thus maintaining the environment while meeting basic human needs. ESI tackles the problems of sanitation with a holistic vision; sanitation awareness will lead to better health, improved education and a stronger economy of the whole country.
Informing and training government and NGO officials on India’s Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC).
Providing awareness and training to students, teachers, masons, health workers, etc. on sanitation issues.
Functioning as a nodal agency between the government and other NGOs in the construction of individual, household and school sanitation facilities, smokeless ovens and soakage pits.
Developing cost-effective and environmentally sustainable sanitation technologies and appropriate implementation strategies.
Creating cost-effective and environmentally sustainable sanitation technologies and appropriate implementation strategies.
Creating information, education and communication (IEC) material on sanitation.
Collaborators: Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India, Govt. of Gujarat, other Indian State Governments, WHO, UNDP, UNICEF, and Royal Dutch Govt.
In order to make significant progress in India’s current state of health and sanitation and considering 70% of India lives in rural regions, creating awareness among the rural masses is crucial to the overall sanitation progress in India. In an effort to impart health and sanitation education to rural communities, ESI introduced Sanitation and Health on Wheels, better known as Nandini.
A custom-built, professionally-designed bus, Nandini can house more than four staff members and volunteers. With sleeping and bath facilities, the bus provides the flexibility to visit any region at any time. A state of the art multimedia installation enables media rich educational programs. Utilizing ESI‘s extensive experience and commitment to service, by working alongside villagers and building a rapport with the inhabitants, the project aims to motivate rural Gujarat to take control of their village and make it model of cleanliness, good health, and environmental sanitation
Nandini’s objectives are 1) to raise awareness of prominent
sanitation and health issues, 2) provide basic health services, 3)increase the felt need for sanitation facilities, 4) provide an environment for volunteering at the rural grassroots and 5) foster an improvement in the general quality of rural life.
The mobility of Nandini allows the ESI training teams and volunteers (both domestic and international) to conveniently reach rural communities with all the materials and facilities to make these visits most effective. Since some of India’s rural population is illiterate, educational awareness must be conducted through creative verbal modes of communication. Nandini is equipped with media tools that allow communicating sanitation and health concepts through visual presentations, songs, plays, and hands-on experiments demonstrating the consequences of ill hygiene and unsanitary habits. Additionally, ESI’s experience in working with villages has proved that completely immersing into the village culture is the best way to earn the respect of the village residents. Although the issue at hand is education, ESI has learned that the relations formed with individual members of the community form the communication structure for gaining the trust of the community.