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Radical Housing and Socially-Engaged Art

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Gram Art Project is working with rural communities. Gram’s main concern is to give the sustainable solutions for day-to-day human life & ecological needs. Gram is based in Paradsinga Village of Madhya Pradesh, having population of four thousand people and approximately one thousand homes. Out of which only 30% of families have toilets remaining 70% families defecate outside in public. For these 70% families Grampanchayat is thinking to build conventional toilets.

The village is facing a very severe scarcity of fresh water. These conventional toilets requires a very huge amount of fresh water for cleansing and flushing purpose and all this waste is left into the village river further contaminating it, this contaminated and hazardous water is consumed by villagers and animals which brings them various diseases and make their life miserable.

We are working for a solution which is ecological and we may save the contamination of river water. Good sanitation is which requires minimum water which can be reused. After consulting people who are already working on sanitation issues, we came close to a sustainable solution of the Eco-Sani-Irri (Ecological-Sanitation-Irrigation)

We discussed this project with Grampanchayat in detail and they promised to support this project by asking us to start with “Gurukul High School” in Paradsinga, which has 400 students. School has also decided to begin with our Eco-Sani toilets.

There is a small waste land in front of school where school can develop a nursery by using recycled water from the Eco-San toilets. These toilets will also generate approx 350 liters of urine (in correct wards The Liquid Gold) each day. We offered them to start school’s “Liquid Gold Bank Scheme”. This Liquid Gold or Urine can be sold to the farmers. Human urine or liquid gold is very good for soil’s health.

To spread awareness about the importance of Eco-San-toilets and use of recycled water for irrigation purpose among the villagers, we have published an open call for 10 days residency inviting Artists from all around the world who shares the common concerns and willing to stay and work with local village communities to be part of the project.

During these 10 days stay, artists will try to collaborate with local villagers and create awareness among them through performances, theatre, storytelling, poster making and different media which will communicate better with villagers and effectively work on the concern. During the residency from 11th June- 20th June we will construct the toilets in school so that Artists, school children and villagers can witness it, which will inspire and educate everyone about its construction & use. Artists can spread awareness about it.

After open call, till now we have received very interesting proposals from all around the world, soon we will share the names of collaborating & residency Artists.

Before we start construction work and residency, we are doing some ground work like soil sample collection and water analysis, meeting with villagers, farmers, women, youth, conducting workshops, awareness programs about health & sanitation.

During this whole past five moths long process we have developed understanding about Ecological-Sanitation-Irrigation, where we came across many people meet them in person, some through books and some through discussions, the people who gave their life for understanding soil, water, and human excreta. We want to dedicate this project to such people; “Peter Morgan” who invented the Eco-San model (he is a scientist from Canada who is working in Africa) & Ishwar Bhai Patel who integrated the design of NO-MIX “ECO SAN” COMMODE.

In last some years our small initiatives made measurable changes in village as a result youth of village is getting involved in Gram’s projects. We will soon update you with project progress.