The story behind JALODBUST – An initiative to make manual scavenging accessible

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About the Founders

Jalodbust Founder - Rakesh Kasba
Jalodbust Founder – Rakesh Kasba

Rakesh Kasba, the founder of Jalodbust has over 20 years of experience in hydropower projects and flood control systems.

Jalodbust Co-founder - Erika Kasba
Jalodbust Co-founder – Erika Kasba

Erika Kasba, the co-founder of Jalodbust, in her school time, began to put her foot down against the rustication of a classmate on charges of misconduct as a severe punishment would leave a permanent mark on his personality, which was then reduced to temporary suspension. She has generally been concerned about people around her and the need for equality and justice. This incident led her to study law to be able to participate in the strive for social justice.

 

What does JALODBUST do?

JALODBUST

Manual scavenging happens when any worker empties the settled and hardened sludge. This sludge is left behind even by the existing vacuum trucks and de-watering pumps mostly used to empty septic tanks, leach pits, sewer manholes, etc. JALODBUST replaces the ‘bucket and shovel’ of Manual Scavenger, handing over the task to the machine. 

The invented JALODBUST system is designed to give its operator ease of working, good earning, and dignity. 

Check out the website for JALODBUST here.

 

Idea and Inspiration behind JALODBUST?

JALODBUST

During the interview with TimesNext, Erika said,

“The advancement of technology, yet the tragedy faced by sanitation workers would shake anyone.”

Thus, the need for an alternative technology being offered by JALODBUST was irresistible. The same urgency was reflected by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936 when he asked the members of Sevagram to clean their own toilets, maybe in the absence of any humane alternative.

JALODBUST breaks liquify and pumps out the settled and hardened sludge from septic tanks, leach pits, sewer manholes, etc. which the existing machines are unable to handle and force the incidence of manual scavenging and thus, the startup becomes a part of the solution.

 

Challenges during the onset

JALODBUST

  • Approaching the sanitation sludge workers and convincing them about the solution needs persistent effort. The workers are wanting to leave this profession to feel that the team members are propagating their presence in the task. More time and effort are needed.
  • The team was unable to provide them with piloting machines in the absence of funding support; hence the acceptability declines drastically.
  • The workers need to be educated, trained and convinced of the incomes, dignity, and safety of using JALODBUST through participation and capacity building. 
  • Convincing the investor is difficult because the lives saved, dignity enhanced is hardly tangible, as is for every social enterprise.

 

Collaborations and Partnerships

  • The founder is Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Social Alpha Bangalore. They have helped by providing the team with seed funding and their valuable insights regarding JALODBUST.
  • Hello Science, Denmark has helped by recognizing the need for JALODBUST.
  • The team has been trying for support from various Governments, non-government, and corporates for more than the last year.

 

Milestones for JALODBUST

JALOBDUST

The day of a first successful field demonstration of emptying a leach pit on 19th August 2019 in Weavers Colony, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru, in the presence of sanitation workers, who initially believed that a small, portable machine would be unable to pump out the semi-liquid sludge was the team’s milestone.

Belying everyone’s expectations, JALODBUST could breakdown, liquify, and evacuate the settled sludge. This proved its possible effectiveness in tackling the root of manual scavenging.

 

Company’s current growth status

The team has completed lab testing and field piloting of the JALODBUST system. JALODBUST-Pride, the portable model designed for narrow lanes and congested places, is presently under product manufacturing design and is planned to be mass-produced in a few months.

JALODBUST Sanipreneur, a Livelihood with dignity model, is on design board.

JALODBUST Development Engineer - S V Gunaraman
JALODBUST Development Engineer – S V Gunaraman

The team is presently working on capacity building and connecting to the end-user and sanitation worker eco-system. The outreach efforts include applying to different grant competitions or innovation challenges, and attending conferences, seminars related to innovation.

 

JALODBUST – The Vision

The company states that its vision is two-fold. The startup focuses on technical innovation to solve social problems, using engineering knowledge, and to take help from legacy know-how. The team wants to achieve the implementation of the changes through capacity building and education sharing with the end-user and beneficiary. The solutions must satisfy the social objective, sustainability objective, and remain viable for active use and sustained growth.

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Pranjali is currently pursuing Literature with Psychology for my graduation from the University of Delhi, She has an admiration for writing and therefore wishes to bring it to the professional use. Writing of any type interests her thereby, adding sensitivity to the words in her life.

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