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Proper sanitation is vital for good health. Eighty percent of disease in developing countries is due to contaminated water and poor sanitation. We see many such cases at our village clinic. In fact 69% of the Indian population are without sanitation coverage and open defecation is the normal practice in most villages in the bio-region around Auroville. We see safe sanitation being one of the most important issues in developing good health for this population. Another issue close to our hearts is care for our environment and in particular the scarcity of water in this part of the world. For these reasons we promote ecological sanitation, that is, dry toilet systems. Auroville Health Services supports all efforts that avoid water pollution and water wastage.
    Our water and sanitation program includes:
  • Awareness and education program
  • Installing toilet facilities
Education program the message that proper sanitation is fundamental to human health care and a safe environment is our mantra. We work with all kinds of village groups and schools in discussing why we should use toilets and what happens when we don't. We also explore how to build, use and maintain toilets and why ecological systems are better, especially in this part of the
world where water is such a precious commodity.
We support this message by helping to provide individual, school and public toilet systems. We use group
dialog, film, story telling, drama and art workshops to help get our message across.
Our program explores:
  • Environment - we address the question of how water becomes contaminated by looking at the implications
    of improper waste management, sanitation systems leakage and open defecation.
  • Health - Disease and poor hygiene habits.
  • Sanitation solutions - what are the best solutions, how to build, use and maintain them.
  • Ecological toilets - why and how.

Installation of toilet facilities.
We install eco toilet facilities after giving initial sanitation education. Our involvement is both a financial and educational one. We work with existing organisations involved in local village issues such as Village Action and Palmyra who have established networks of self help groups in each village. These groups become involved in all stages of a project including making a small financial contribution which helps to foster a sense of responsibility and ownership. We provide education and awareness training before, during and after construction. With our project partners, we ensure that local people are educated in the importance of safe sanitation, get environmentally friendly sanitation solutions and know how to use them.

Thenkodippakkam Village
The village of Thenkodippakam had many health problems due to poor sanitation and a contaminated water supply. After a request from the self help groups for assistance, Auroville Health Services with the help of Palmyra and Basic Water Needs Foundation launched a project that gave health education, ecological sanitation and clean water to this village of fifteen hundred people.

School facilities

Night school - Most government schools in our area are without any toilet facilities, AVHS start their first school project in the village of Perimudachavidy in providing ecological toilet facilities for the night school and a complete education program on health and hygiene, sanitation and maintenance to children and teachers from this school. It is hoped that this will be a model that will be followed in other schools.

Day schools - In 2007 AVHS in co-operation with the state government of Tamil Nadu and Village Action, will start a project aimed at bringing toilet facilities to local government schools, all currently without any facilities. Our part of the project includes aiding in the design of the toilet systems, overseeing the construction a comprehensive sanitation and health education plan and part funding. We will start with one school and aim to achieve 10 new facilities in the near future.












"A free equality founded
upon spontaneous
cooperation, not on
governmental force and
social compulsion
is the highest anarchic

- Sri Aurobindo '
The Human Cycle