NASA National Sanitation and Enviornment Improvment Foundation
A non-profit Voluntary Organisation
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About NASA -
Problems Associated With Development Of Community Toilet Facilities

The same consciousness however has worked in developing the need for community toilet facilities in urban areas for those who cannot afford to have an individual toilet. Urban public toilets do serve the male & female but the problem extends beyond that, considering the physically and mentally handicapped, the child, the elders or people with babies, as well as the need for certain religious and cultural toilet requirements.

The female visits the toilet 3 times longer than the male; logically they need more toilet cubicles, for the male-oriented wall mounted urinals wont do. The prospect in the Indian sub-continent opens up all sorts of ideas about difficulties experienced by people at large as the crying need of a teeming populace.


Thousands of commuters using public buses and other vehicles require such facilities when they are away from their homes. During last 25 years the idea of community toilet facilities has gradually spread to many other areas, like pilgrim places, on major highways, in public hospitals, at railway stations, bus stations etc. Not only that, but a silent revolution had developed in this sector as evidenced by construction of very good toilet complexes along with bath facilities.

Such facilities are being maintained on “Pay & Use” method, and it has been observed that people at large appreciate such facilities and willingly pay an amount for using the same. However the ratio of the public and the corresponding toilet is not equal.

Even considering that encouragement of the pay-and-use facilities could be effectively implemented by the State to further the cause of sanitation by introducing statutory penalties against random defecation and urination in areas of public traffic and assembly, the measure would be valid only if there are clean and sufficient alternatives available to the general public.

It is precisely this scenario that validates the importance of the work of NASA.

Moreover, the economics of public toilet facility is equally important in executing the need, for the Pay & Use concept could become a reality only when maintenance was being done by a different staff of the agency, and who are being paid differently.

Picture the 80s, when the idea of creating and maintaining public sanitation system on “Pay & Use” basis was new for Gujarat. At that time Mr. Sooryakant Parikh, the Chairman of NASA, was involved in the field of alternative energy sources, and was a member of the governing council of Gujarat Energy Development Agency. The Government of India under the Ministry of Energy was keen to generate biogas from human excreta, and sent notices to various state governments that it was ready to give full grant for such biogas plants during 1983-84.

The GEDA welcomed the Government’s interest and decided to implement the biogas generation from human excreta in community sanitation facilities. As a member Mr. Parikh visited all the locations and was convinced of the feasibility of such a project in Gujarat. From then onwards his belief in the community sanitation system was strengthened—that biogas from human excreta was possible. Before long he founded an organization—NASA—in Gujarat to focus on public sanitation system.

Moreover, there were other objectives before NASA —

  • In maintaining the facilities better methods must be used for safai workers.

  • All such government & semi-government bodies should be convinced to provide such services to people by creating infrastructure to suit such a need.

Originally organization’s name was “National Sanitation & Bhangi Mukti Foundation” registered under Public Trust Act and Society Registration Act in Gujarat, which was the first of its kind in Gujarat. Mr. Parikh convinced some to his organization.

In Mr. Parikh’s own words, “Our first challenging work began with Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation where at least 30 to 35 community toilets built in the old days were in very bad shape, filthy and nauseating, overflowing with human excreta. We were told to repair, make it clean and useable for people.” The Commissioner wanted to maintain the same on “Pay & Use” basis by NASA’s own staff.

“We camped there in Bhavnagar for 18 months and did the work assigned to us. The first application of concept of “Pay & Use” was put to practice there in Bhavnagar.”

Soon after Mr. Parikh was assigned a project to establish a public sanitation system attached to the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. The funds were given as per the drawings and estimate and NASA completed such a system in the early part of 1990—which was the first of its kind in a public hospital in the whole of Gujarat.

Because of the importance of NASA’s work, gradually the idea spread to Municipal Corporations, ST Corporation, Gujarat Maritime Board and other corporations and semi government bodies. Thus a new concept of maintaining community sanitation system on “Pay & Use” started in Gujarat.
NASA Foundation's Innovative work in field of public sanitation/environment area.
National Sanitation & Environment Improvement Foundation in short called NASA Foundation was the first of its kind in Gujarat as a voluntary agency working in the filed of public sanitation facilities started its work in 1988. During all these years, we have spread through out Gujarat and tried to create models of public sanitation facilities at important pilgrim places, ST bus stations, ports, areas of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Public hospitals, public gardens etc. NASA Foundation always remains innovative in its approach for creating such facilities, therefore covered important places of Gujarat.