Caya, the largest contributor to Swacch Bharat Mission

Swacch Bharat Mission, the flagship programme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was launched with a mission to provide and improve sanitation facilities in rural areas of India and make the villages open defecation free by providing toilets. Apart from the initiatives taken up by the government to achieve this goal, there are private companies, NGO’s and individuals working towards this aim.

Speaking of which so far, Caya, a Delhi-based social innovations enterprise has contributed significantly towards this aim, by impacting one million people across 200 rural areas.  Caya was established in 2016 by Navneet Garg and Ashish Gupta which aims to provide sustainable sanitation solutions and also provide safe and clean water supply to the poor.

The foremost objective of the Swacch Bharat Mission was to provide 12 Crore toilets across rural and urban households to make India open defecation free. The fulfillment of this objective required charting out of a plan of action, designing toilet layouts, enrolling manpower and building materials to construct one set of toilets. This process for the execution of the toilet was taking the government to consume a time period of at least 2-3 weeks. Thus, Caya stepped in to render help in this process, they proposed to use precast Reinforced Cement Concrete as the material, as it is easy to use, quick to build and is a reliable material. 

With their own manufacturing units in Goa and Haryana, it was easy for Caya to work with desired sizes and transport the precast material at any location. The organization also works on spreading awareness of sanitation by training individuals in the maintenance of these toilets. What makes these toilets sustainable is the bio-digesters fixed that convert feces and urine into fertilizer by using anaerobic bacteria, making the waste manageable and useful too.  So far, Caya has worked with the government to manufacture and install 12,000 toilet structures across 9 states, consisting of 200 rural areas, among which 80 are declared open defecation free.

Caya is also working towards supplying reliable water in villages where hand pumps are the only source of clean water. Handpumps are the focus as they are already installed across many villages and do not require electricity to work. Though the government has been involved in installing more hand pumps, women are still facing the problem of fetching water from farther areas as majority of the hand pumps lie in a poor and non-working condition.

To tackle with this problem, Caya has installed a device called EyeOneer, which is a smart water monitoring device that detects repairs and predicts mechanical failures in advance using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) concepts. The report of this is automatically sent to the government agencies in charge, which gives the information of mechanical failures, on aspects like the overall health of the pump, status of repair if initiated, groundwater levels in the area, and so on.

The installation of this device takes about 30 minutes and the life shell of its battery is around 5-8 years. The device was tried and tested under a pilot project where 112 devices were installed across remote areas in West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh with 95% of the predictions to be accurate. The enterprise has already started receiving orders from various states and intends to install 50 lakh devices across the country in the next five years.

 

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