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| Last Updated:13/10/2014

Latest News(Archive)

Latest News

‘Who enjoys squatting in the open?’

The Hindu, 12 October 2014

 

His days start and end with toilets. Jockin Arputham, 68, grassroots activist who has won the Magsaysay and Padma Shri awards, has been leading a struggle for the slum-dwellers’ rights to shelter and sanitation for four decades. He is based in Mumbai’s Dharavi, one of the largest slums in the world, serving as an inspiration for the poorest citizens. Mr. Arputham, together with the movement he heads, the National Slum Dwellers Federation, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year. He speaks to Omar Rashid about the progress India is making in building toilets, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and other sanitation issues.

 

What has changed over the four decades you have been working for advancing the rights to shelter and sanitation?

 

I built my first toilet in Kanpur in 1987. Since then, I have built 1,00,000 seats across the world, 20,000 of them in Mumbai. All the money I collected — five million dollars — I spent on toilets. Besides that, there is a remarkable change in the way people, and also the government, approach sanitation today. They talk about toilets much freely. Read more....