Germans Giving Pune a Better Poo Experience, Literally

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In year 2012, when the word ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ was yet to be coined, a group of four individuals bicycled from Germany to India to raise funds for a project to help eliminate the problem of Open Defecation in India. In the next two years, they hitchhiked across continents to raise funds for building dry-composting toilets for a residential tribal school near Pune.


(Image: Sven Riesbeck at one of the dry-composting toilets)

Guts for Change with its partner organisation Non-Water Sanitation are a Berlin- and Pune-based organisation that works for sustainable sanitation in rural India. According to the Indian government, 61 percent of rural India doesn’t have a toilet. Guts for Change wants to challenge this fact. Together with Pune-based organisations like EcoSan and BlueWiss India, they have constructed composting toilets, which don’t need water to flush. The high quality compost generated from these toilets are of great value to the rural communities.



(Image: Kalyani Rao with a village head near Pune)

“Our strategy is to combine technology and to promote behavioural change.We always aim for a scalable solution that is also sensitive to the cultural needs of the community” says Kalyani Rao, one of the members of the organisation.


Recently, they completed construction of dry-composting toilets for a village near Pune.

As the word ‘philanthropy’ means etymologically the love of humanity, in the sense of caring, nourishing, nurturing and enhancing what it means to be human. These young and inspiring individuals of Guts for Change have set a great example for one to choose the rightful path of philanthropy.

(Feature image: Johann Angermann and Thomas Jakel)

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