How Swapnil Exchanged Plush Life In US For Becoming The 'Poop Guy' Of India
He was a software engineer working in USA and had everything a man could wish for. A high-paying job, a beautiful wife and an adorable child. Yet he chose to leave everything behind for the sake of his homeland’s betterment. He returned and took a job, but not in software industry. He took a responsibility to provide better sanitation to slum dwellers and helped them in living a sanitary and healthy life.
Giving up luxuries
Swapnil Chaturvedi left India in 2001 for higher studies after which he worked as a software engineer in USA for over a decade. In 2007, when he was visiting India to meet his parents in hometown Raipur, Chattisgarh and was hoping to see 'positive changes' his parents raved about. But this excitement turned into dismay when he realized that pockets of slums were screaming out for help but were stifled by the glamour of tall buildings. Stinking drains opened right infront of the homes and any sign of development seemed nothing more than a lie. Children were defecating in open and the health charts in the area were abysmal. Seeing all this deeply impacted Swapnil and he decided to come back for good and be the change he wanted to see.
(The Poop Guy)
“What does GDP mean for a woman who has to spend over an hour to find a place to defecate?” Swapnil asked to himself.
Inception of ‘poop guy’
Seeing the condition of people, he started Samagra sanitation centres in 2011 to provide accessible sanitation option to the urban poor. With this he provided clean community toilets to thousands of people. Everyday nearly 1,000 people access his establishment every day. He has also started Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for making community toilets for over 50,000 people.
(People availing his services)
"We can live without Facebook, we can live without smartphones. But we cannot live without relieving ourselves”
Man with a mission
His efforts have helped a lot of people to live a healthy life and avoid deadly diseases caused due to unhygienic conditions. Samagra has also sent message to the government that keeping the toilets clean is a bigger responsibility than building them. His organization has also taken up the responsibility of cleaning community toilets and revamping them with better facilities. The government-constructed facilities are more often than not in deplorable state. The toilets are broken and finding water to flush is a rarity. This discourages people from using them and they again go back to defecating in the open, inviting diseases, and burdening the government with their health bills.
Swapnil dared to look beyond his luxuries and an easy life. He made an effort to contribute to social causes and today is lauded by many.
#Hope #Positivity #Inspiration #Cleanliness
pic courtesy: pic-1, pic-2;