Inauguration of the Rishikesh Railway Station Bio Toilet

“Meditation and Sanitation come together in yoga capital of the world with message of India First then Toilet Must!” says HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President of Parmarth Niketan, Co-Founder, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance

BHEL Executives, FICCI Representatives and GIWA Volunteers are blessed by the presence of Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji for the inauguration of the public, bio-digester toilet complex at the Rishikesh Railway Station

RISHIKESH: Today saw the auspicious inauguration of the Bio Digester toilets* at the Rishikesh Railway Station, supported and sponsored by CSR initiative of BHEL, in partnership with FICCI and the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA). 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.*

BHEL and FICCI Executives warmly welcomed Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji by presenting him with a beautiful shawl and sacred Rudraksha sapling, as a symbol and loving gesture of taking Pujya Swamiji’s own green example to heart.

Pujya Swamiji Chidanand Saraswatiji, President of Parmarth Niketan, 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.”

Pujya Swamiji heart-warming speech was received with a round of thundering applause as He lauded the efforts of all stakeholders, especially the great leadership, vision and commitment of BHEL in this noble endeavour.

Shri Dev Ashish Bandopadhyay, Director BHEL, Haridwar, said, “BHEL is hailing in defence and industry as well as many other sectors. We are proud that we are one of the largest manufacturing industries under the Make in India campaign and our two largest manufacturing units are here in Haridwar. Hence, we feel it our responsibility and duty to serve the nation and are fortunate with every opportunity to give back in our plethora of CSR projects. However, 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. Hence, 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.”

Rakesh Soodji, consultant to FICCI, on behalf of Deputy Secretary General, FICCI Shri Nirankar Saxenaji, shared, “It is only with Pujya Swamiji’s blessings that we have been able to bring Bio-Digester toilet technology all across the nation. BHEL has not only brought light to villages and energy to India but now has been working with equal zeal to do their important part in a Swachh Bharat. FICCI is so glad to support these humble but important efforts and we look forward to continuing on this path together.”

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. Pujya Swamiji showered his grace and blessings on all persons involved in ensuring that this project would be the great success that it is.

*The Bio Digester Technology was developed by DRDO, using harmless anaerobic bacterial process which naturally dissolves all waste leaving a clear, odourless and virtually pathogen free water which can be used for irrigation. The project ensures a product which is helpful for the population but also supports and protects the natural environment.

About GIWA

GIWA is the globe’s first organization to bring together the leaders of all faiths and people from across India and around the world to inspire a planet where everyone, everywhere can have access to sustainable and healthy water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

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