His Excellency, Governor Dr. Aziz Qureshiji, GIWA Co-Chair, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and Head of Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul, Pujya Swami Madhavpriyadasji, launched a beautiful new bio-toilet complex for girls, sponsored by the generous donations of the Emami Foundation Ltd, at the large Post Graduate College in Rishikesh. The college has several thousand girls enrolled, but no adequate toilet facilities for them. Also gracing the event were dignitaries including UNICEF India WASH Chief, Sue Coates and UNICEF India Communications Chief, Caroline den Dulk. The structure was a much needed effort by GIWA to prevent some 24% of Indian girls from dropping out of school, mainly due to the lack of enclosed toilet facilities, and the protection they provide, highlighting the great need for toilets in all of India’s schools.
Pujya Swamiji had visited the LMS Degree College in Rishikesh in 2013 to inspire and speak to the students. The LMS Degree College is one of the only inter-colleges (11th and 12th standard/grade) in the Rishikesh area, where some 4000 students attend, nearly half of them being girls. At the function Pujya Swamiji had requested to use their bathroom, and much to His dismay discovered the condition of the toilet facilities (only 3 for girls and boys) for the large student population, which were lying in complete neglect and were so stinky and filthy that even users would prefer to go anywhere else but in those toilets.
It was then that Pujya Swamiji pledged to build the toilet. In a beautiful Bhoomi Poojan of the structure, Respected Shri RS Goenkaji, Co-Chairmen of the Emami Foundation came forward to sponsor the 8-cubicle structure.
Thereafter, the Foundation Stone Laying ceremony as well as awareness raising had been inspired by the famous Bollywood Actor Shri Vivek Oberoiji.
The toilets were built for girl students to encourage them to attend their classes in ease, and the boys were inspired to help construct the toilet structure for girls as a symbol of their support and pledge to respect and honor the divine feminine and protect the dignity and security of their female classmates.
People from all over the world have contributed to building the structure, brick by brick and the beautiful structure now has been presented to the school.