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More Flush Toilet Histories, pg. 6

The Evolution of the Toilet

In spirituality lies the essence of happiness," says Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International Social Service Organization, considered one of the biggest NGOs in India and a pioneer in low-cost sanitation. In 1969 Dr Pathak was entrusted a special job by a committee set up during the Gandhi centenary celebrations in Patna, India. The committee aimed to liberate scavengers. Fascinated by the idea, he read literature on public health and hygiene, including books on disposal of night soil in rural areas. The committee failed to make an impact. But Pathak did. He resigned from the committee and designed a flush toilet, which functioned without being connected to the sewerage system. This was the beginning of Sulabh Shauchalaya.

The Construction Management Project
Toilets in Antiquity

Toilets have existed in some form since the early third millennium BCE, and evidence of toilets has been found in the archaeological site of Mohenjo-daro, in Sindh, Pakistan. There the Harappan culture developed what would be considered “Western style” toilets made of bricks and wood with vertical chutes to direct waste into street drains or a cesspit. At first these were only utilized by the most affluent members of society, but due to the widespread city planning in the Indus River Civilizations sewer systems and early forms of toilets with flowing water were installed in nearly every home.

"History of the Toilet" return to:
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