Tiger Tour 2014

 

The first stop on our Tiger Tour 2014 is Adachiwadi, a village about 70 km from Pune. It takes about two hours to reach the village, starting on the state highway, and then on to roads of ever decreasing size, but luckily all are tarmacked. The majority of the trip I spend gazing at the fields of sugar cane that line the roadside. It is harvest time and occasionally we pass a temporary village of predominantly blue plastic tents, where those who find work harvesting the sugar cane live for the season.

When we arrive at the village we are met by a local advocate who leads the PriMove team and myself from house to house, where the new Tiger Toilets are being built.  As we move through the village we start drawing a bigger and bigger crowd. They are all interested in who I am what I am doing here. They do not get many international visitors in these parts.

The village itself is made up of a mixture of colourful houses, with decorative doors and satellite dishes.  Oxen and carts are driven through the street and children arrive home from school on their oversized bikes. Cows are wandering around and can be recognised by the jangle of their bells.  In the middle of the village stands a very colourful temple, which can be seen from every house.

The PriMove team have already finished six toilets and they just need to install the worms. We manage to chat with most of the people who will be using the system. All consider this to be a one-off investment and on top of financially contributing to the system and helping to building it, they  also want to tile the superstructure, which we take as a sign the they are fully engaged in our process and are proud of their new toilet. One lady who now has a tiger toilet invites us in for Chai to thank us for the toilet. It was explained to me that the people here like this new design as the state normally advocates two small pits, so the PriMove design will save space and money.

A wormery has been set up in the village to house the worms before they are put into the Tiger Toilets; I have to admit I am somewhat jealous, as it is a wormery made from plastic sheeting, which they sell in India. This is because India has a long heritage of worm farming. We visit the wormery and as per normal I am the first person to dive in with my hands searching for the worms. They look healthy and happy living in composted cow dung. They are red and less stripy than I expect: they are the sister worm,Eisenia andrei to our Tiger friends , Eisenia foetida

After all of this fun we attend a community meeting where all of those involved are introduced to me and I have to give a speech, which of course is translated. It was incredible touching; I was given a garland of flowers and a coconut. On our slow journey back I reflect that our Tiger Toilet dream is becoming very real and will very soon impact the lives of others. I cannot believe that I have experienced all of this and it is only my first day in Puneā€¦

 

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