Nirgandh India’s Biodigester Solutions: A Green Path to Sustainable Sanitation and Water Conservation

Ashish Mehrotra, Co-Founder, Nirgandh India at the G20 Shikhar Startup Summit.

In a remarkable display of innovation and commitment to sustainable solutions, Nirgandh India shone brightly at the G20 India Shikhar Startup20 Summit with their revolutionary Bio-Digester solutions. The social impact organization, founded by Madhu S. Thakar, Ashish Mehrotra and Saumya Chandra, around a decade ago, has been dedicatedly working towards providing technology-driven affordable sanitation products and services to combat open defecation, conserve water resources, and eliminate water resource contamination and manual scavenging.

Nirgandh’s journey to revolutionize sustainable sanitation began over a decade ago when Madhu Thakar envisioned a world where high-quality sanitation facilities were accessible to all, ensuring water purity and promoting hygiene. After years of research and development, the organization successfully designed cutting-edge bio-digester technology aimed at improving on-site sanitation systems prevalent in over 60 percent of households in India.

Ashish Mehrotra, talking about their mission shared, “Here, our endeavor is to bring sustainability to the household level and ensure that water is not contaminated. We have our own manufacturing facility and have been implementing our solutions for the Government of India, private companies for their CSR initiatives, and individual households that are our customers. Our primary goal is to extend these benefits to the masses, not just limiting it to the government or social enterprises.”

Saumya Chandra, Co-Founder, Nirgandh India

In India, a significant portion of households still relies on on-site sanitation systems that are often defunct, inadequate, and unlined from the ground. This leads to contaminated water seepage into the earth, further polluting water bodies and posing severe health risks. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Nirgandh’s mission revolves around bringing sustainability to households and safeguarding water resources from contamination.

Nirgandh’s biodigestive technology stands as a beacon of hope for a cleaner, healthier India. The organization has its own manufacturing facility and has collaborated with various stakeholders, including the Government of India, private companies for their CSR initiatives, and individual households, to bring this technology to the masses. With an unwavering focus on the base of the pyramid, Nirgandh aims to empower communities through sustainable sanitation practices.

Nirgandh’s efforts go beyond infrastructure development. The organization firmly believes in initiating a behavioral change regarding sanitation and hygiene practices. By creating awareness campaigns and educating people, Nirgandh fosters a long-term shift in mindsets, encouraging the adoption of good hygiene practices. Their collaborations with Anganwadis, Sarpanches, MFI’s, NGOs, Foundations & Trusts, and Government offices demonstrate their dedication to transforming lives significantly.

The sustainable sanitation sector presents a unique challenge for companies like Nirgandh. The consumers at the bottom of the pyramid may not directly be their customers, but rather influencers and partners. Nirgandh has adeptly navigated this landscape through its holistic approach, ensuring that their technology-driven products and services reach the masses who need them the most.

At the G20 India Shikhar Startup20 Summit, Nirgandh’s Co-founder, Ashish Mehrotra, engaged in discussions that provided valuable insights and recognition for their impactful work. “We have been in existence for the past three years as a bootstrap company, funding our operations from our own pockets. We recognize a vast market opportunity in India. With an estimated 300 million households, approximately 60% of them are situated in areas where our solutions are needed. Even if we target just 1 to 2% of these households, it presents a substantial business potential. We envision achieving a business turnover of no less than two to two and a half thousand crores.”

Nirgandh India’s outstanding contributions to sustainable WASH solutions and water conservation are commendable. Their mission to create a lasting impact by changing mindsets and behaviors sets an inspiring example for organizations and individuals alike. As India marches towards a cleaner and healthier future, the efforts of Nirgandh India stand tall, leaving a positive mark on the nation’s landscape.


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