A group of Norwegian volunteers are building a toilet exclusively for women near Mumbai Central station. The toilet would be accessible to the public from next week, said the volunteers.
The 15-member group is led by Alexander Medin, a yoga teacher and the founder of the institute Yoga For Life Foundation. Medin, who has spent more than 22 years in India, said that he had observed the problems created by lack of sanitation facilities in the country, especially for women.
“Women face lot of problems as far as sanitation and toilets are concerned. We undertook the project with a humble intention to give something to the society and make the world a better place for women to live in,” Medin said.
The volunteers, some of whom have led troubled lives, said they were helped by yoga. “I taught these people yoga,and read out excerpts from the Bhagvad Gita, which transformed their life,” said Medin.
In October 2016, Medin started taking permissions for land to construct the toilet. The group started work on the plot as soon as it was allotted. “These people have not taken a single penny to build the whole thing,” he said.
The group flew from Norway with a budget of Rs25 lakh,adding Rs15 lakh from their wallets and funding the remaining amount from a private conglomerate, and sought permission from the Municipal Corporation for land allotment. “It will take us around Rs15-17 lakh to make the toilet completely operational and open it to the public.”
No decision has been taken on service charges of the facility provided. Once the lavatory is built, the decision belongs to the corporation, said Medin.
MM Kshirsagar, assistant municipal commissioner of D ward, confirmed the initiative. “Except for the date of inauguration, everything has been taken care of. It is definitely a wonderful thing that foreigners are setting an example for the people of our country. It is now up to us to take care of the society,” he said.