RISHIKESH: Today saw the  inauguration of Bio Digester toilets* at the Rishikesh Railway Station, provided in partnership with GIWA, BHEL, and FICCI. This is the fifth public location in Rishikesh to benefit from the construction of this innovative and eco-friendly toilet technology and the third in the 25 such clusters of public toilets being built in partnership between BHEL, FICCI and GIWA in Rishikesh.*

Pujya Swamiji Chidanand Saraswatiji,Co-Founder, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance blessed and graced the occasion by sharing, “Before we go to the temple we need the toilet. For me toilets come even before temples because without a clean body we cannot have a clean mind and therefore impossible to have clean surroundings. To me sanitation is my meditation because until every women and girl child has access to adequate sanitation facilities what good is our meditation and spirituality. Hence, if we want to place India first and Indians first then Toilet is a must. To me not just one step but our slogan now should be every step should be towards a Swachh Bharat.”

Shri Dev Ashish Bandopadhyay, Director BHEL, Haridwar, said, “When Pujya Swamiji called upon us to answer the call of providing eco-friendly, bio-digester toilet technology to pilgrims and devotees in this sacred land of Uttarakhand we readily and eagerly agreed. It is a true privilege and honour to be serving our country and this state in this way of bringing Swachh Tirth and Swachh Bharat, Swachh Rail and Swachh Bharat.”

Also present on the occasion were Shri Sanjay Gulati, General Manager (I) HEEP, Shri J.P. Singh General Manager (I) CFFP and Shri Sanjoy Sinha General Manager (HR) BHEL, New Delhi and many other stakeholders and dignitaries. Yoga students studying at Parmarth Niketan were led by Laura Plumb, Ganga Nandini, from USA, Mica, from Mexico, Preeti from Norway and a delegation of over a dozen yoga enthusiasts who were thrilled to engage in such Yoga off the Mat activities.

The project to build toilets will see the final construction of at least 25 such complexes similar to the ones built in Rishikesh, out of which 17 have already been built. These will be placed all along the Char Dham route in Uttarakhand for the benefit of travellers and villagers. The seeds for the success of this project were sown at the auspicious Ganga Aarti ceremony at the Parmarth Niketan Ghat in 2015 by the Honourable former Railway Minister, Shri Suresh Prabhuji. On that occasion symbolic bhumi poojan and shila poojan, led by Swamiji, was performed by the Honourable Former Railway Minister to consecrate and energise bricks for the project. The success of the project is also based upon a strong partnership between BHEL, FICCI, and GIWA and GAP.

Pujya Swamiji also recalled his recent conversation with the Hon’ble Railway Minister Shri Piyush Goyalji and lauded the Swachh Bharat and government’s committed efforts, under the able leadership of Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modiji, to truly bring about a Swachh Bharat.
All the eminent dignitaries invited participants from all across the world to the upcoming 2021 Kumbh Mela in Hardiwar and shared their commitment to work together to make a clean and green Mela.