2009 Water Treatment Project in Mangaon India
April 15, 2009: project complete

The School

Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram (VKA) has established a primary school in Mangaon: Dist. Raighad for the children of the local Katkari tribals. The school has been extended up to Std. VIII (grade 8) in the year 2007 and today there are 324 students (boys & girls) taking education.

The school will be extended up to Std X (grade 10) over next two years (i.e. by 2009) and total number of students will increase to nearly 400. The Ashramshala has been developed on 1.2 acres of land having double storied School Building, Dining Hall, Girl’s Hostel and Boy’s Hostel. The additional infrastructure is being built which will include Secondary School Building, Dining Hall and Staff Quarters. The total number of members on campus is expected to be around 425 – 450.

The Need

Water is one of the most primary needs of any such expansion project. Maharashtra Jivan Pradikaran has built the over head water tank which is near to school premises. From this tank barely sufficient water supply is made available to the school. This water supply is adequate only for drinking and washing of utensils etc. It can not support all the sanitation needs. Moreover there is no system of waste water drainage in Mangaon, which has caused significant issues. The total amount of water consumed every day at present is around 5,000 to 8,000 lit. The consumption may increase to around 10,000 – 15,000 liters in next three years.

It was therefore felt necessary to look for waste water treatment and recycling option so that the issues related to sanitation and disposal can be addressed. Moreover this treated water can be used for gardening, agriculture and sanitation.


The Solution

To meet these expansion needs, a waste water treatment and recycling system will be built so that the issues related to sanitation and disposal can be addressed. This treated water can be used for gardening, agriculture and sanitation etc.

Prof, H.S. Shankar, Senior Professor in Department of Chemical Engineering IIT Bombay has been working in the area of waste treatment for nearly 15 years. Through his intense research he has developed and patented "Soil Bio-Technology Method" for effectively treating wastewater. The brief summary of the process benefits is given below.

Process Features:

  • low energy use
  • low space requirements
  • no waste product (sludge) requiring disposal
  • effective removal of bacteria, suspended solids, ammonia, color, and odor
  • low maintenance
  • natural oxygen supply



The Partners

The Pune Tilak Road club in Pune, India has organized the project, and is partnering with the Stillwater Sunrise club in Stillwater, Minnesota USA to complete the funding.

The estimated cost to complete the project is $12,150 with funds coming from both clubs, both districts and the Rotary Foundation.

(left) Ted Nesse from the Stillwater club presents the banner presented to him by the Pune Tilak Road club to President Ken McGinley of the Stillwater Club


Commissioning and Final Report


Handing over of SBT Plant and Inverters

Date : March 8, 2009

Venue: VKA school Mangaon

Time : 11:00 AM

Chief Guest of Honour: PDG Dr. Mahesh Kotbagi


The Rotarians and Anns of RC Tilak road started from Pune at 7:00 AM to reach Mangaon for Handing over of the Matching grant project (#67435) on March 8th. The day being a Women’s day, was also marked by the presence of a great response by lady rotarians and anns. Total 24 members(Rotarians+Anns) were present for the function.

Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram (VKA) has established a primary school in Mangaon: Dist. Raighad for the children of the local Katkari tribals. The residential school has been extended up to Std. X  this year and today there are 425 students (boys & girls) taking education. The club had started this project of Soil Bio technology plant to address VKA’s sanitation needs by a matching grant project with Sunrise Club of Stillwater, Minnesota in March last year (2008). The total project cost projected was Rs. 486,000/-($10,000).

The Program started after a brief refreshment at the school guest room. A traditional pooja of the plant was done by PDGDr. Mahesh Kotbagi. He then declared that the plant, inverters were now officially “Handed over to VKA” and ready for use. President. Alka started the SBT pump motor to make the plant operational..

The formal program was then arranged in the school hall. The ceremony was started by poooja of Bharat Mata and Saraswati, and then by lighting the lamp. Mr. Jayant Abhyankar – school Trustee welcomed the guests and also introduced everyone to the work that Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram is doing at Mangaon. This joint initiative of the Rotary clubs of Pune Tilak Road and Stillwater Sunrise Club was appreciated by the Trustees. Mr. Abhyankar then invited Dr. Avinash Kadam to explain the working of SBT(Soil Bio Technology) Plant..

Dr. Kadam explained the working of the plant and also thanked the school authorities and Rotary club for choosing Vision Earth care( Subsidary of IIT, Bombay)  as their partners for making this project happen. He said, “He appreciated the schools Think Tanks for bringing such a technology to a rural area even when the urban citizen is unaware of such things”. He told that every drop of water saved/recycled is going to be helpful. He added that the plant had advantages like a very low running cost, ease of use and operation, locally available spares. Moreover, it was built entirely dependent on local material and labor. He explained that the plant was designed by keeping in mind the schools growth for the next 10 years. He told about the SBT process for which IIT-Bombay has filed for a US patent.

Next our President Alka Kulkarni, introduced our Chief Guest PDG Dr. Mahesh Kotbagi. She told everyone about the projects that the club is currently undertaking. She thanked VKA, the guest of honor and also the members who visited Mangaon to attend the function.

President Alka’s talk was followed by a simple but soul touching speech by Dr. Mahesh Kotbagi. He told about the day-to-day controversies that we experience. He discussed an example of a rural child who has to walk a couple of kilometers carrying the drinking water as compared to the kids living in a protected society like ours. He congratulated our club on the occasion and told that it is not for getting in a matching grant but for making this resource available to the right and needy people.

Shri Abhyankar proposed a vote of thanks. He also appealed to Rotary to extend help whenever their institute needs it in the future. After this program, a school tour was led by VKA Chairman Shri Kamlakar Bedekar and the entire event ended with good lunch from our hosts VKA.

Special appreciation of our Club members:
1. Rtn.Mukundrao Chitale – arranging engraving on Marble Corner stones and also transport these 2 numbers of  4’x 3’ pieces to Mangaon.
2. Rtn.Shamkant to arrange the Mangaon visit of PDG Dr. Mahesh Kotbagi.
3. Rtn. Sanjay – arranging the banners – one in English, one in Marathi.
4. Rtn. Dr. Ambarish/Arti Shahade for arranging the medicines for the students.

5. Rtn. Shamla, Pres. Rtn. Alka – to make the project stickers for inverters and also for arranging the bus.

Compiled by-

Dileep Railkar