The Potty Project

Researching sanitation in low-income urban India.


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Key Takeaway 14 is “efforts required for toilet care-taking are disproportionate to the incentives offered.” Terms on which the caretakers are employed are usually lop-sided. One caretaker we met is required to give Rs.475 per day to the contractor. Any amount in excess of that is his incentive, along with a set Rs. 2000 per month salary. However, to ensure higher use (and hence collect higher incentives), he is required to enforce payment by users, take care of law and order at the facility, run the facility smoothly (taking care of cleanliness, repair, maintenance) - most of which he is ill equipped to do, making the effort and incentives highly disproportionate.

Sharing responsibility amongst close family helps tide over the financial inadequacy of the role and responsibilities of a caretaker. One caretaker makes his son fill in for his absence when he visits from their village. The sharing of responsibility amongst close family or friend allows for supplemental income by creating additional time for other jobs.


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