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Leading the Way in Sustainable WASH

Transforming Lives, One Community at a Time

Sanitation First India, registered as a Sec 8 company (formerly Sec 25) under "Wherever the Need India Services," is the sister organisation of Sanitation First UK, now known as The Cycle. We are dedicated to providing sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions to vulnerable communities in India. With over 600,000 beneficiaries across eight states and two Union Territories and counting, our mission extends beyond immediate relief, aiming for long-term, impactful change.

Our Vision

A thriving planet powered by gender equity

We believe that by elevating women, we can catalyse significant changes and help build a better world for everyone. Our initiatives focus on the core intersection of Water, Women, and the World, understanding that sustainable development and gender equity go hand in hand.

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Water is the most precious resource for the ecological systems that sustain our...

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Gender equity as enabler for environmental care has always been paramount in all we do...

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We innovate to redesign the way individuals and communities live harmoniously with nature...

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What We Do

Sanitation First operates in rural villages, educational institutions, and urban slums, delivering tailored WASH solutions to meet the specific needs of the communities that deserve the most support.

At Sanitation First India, we are committed to:

  • Improving Access to Clean Water:

    Ensuring communities have access to clean and safe water, reducing health risks and enhancing quality of life.

  • Promoting Sanitation:

    Building and promoting the use of eco-friendly sanitation facilities to prevent disease and preserve dignity.

  • Enhancing Hygiene Practices:

    Educating communities on hygiene practices to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

  • Empowering Women:

    Focusing on women’s health, safety, and economic empowerment through improved sanitation and hygiene.

What we do

Alignment to UN SDGs

Commitment to Global Goals

Aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), our projects contribute to clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), quality education (SDG 4), gender equality (SDG 5), and more, reflecting our holistic approach to community development.

Impact by Numbers

Making a Measurable Difference

Our impact extends across communities and lives:


litres of water saved from being flushed down



people accessing safe and sustainable toilets



people have received menstrual education & adolescent health training



tonnes of soil enriching compost generated from human waste



School toilet blocks as per WHO/UNICEF ratio

Partnership for Goals

Joining forces with esteemed organisations and foundations, Sanitation First India has built a robust network of allies. From international agencies to local foundations, our partners are integral to our mission of advancing sanitation and hygiene solutions.

Hear about our impact directly from the people we work with


"My school had the first ever ecosan toilet and I was so excited to use it. When I got married, was shocked to find my house did not have a toilet. I refused to go to my husband’s house till a toilet was built. Thanks to Sanitation First we now have a toilet and my husband’s family has learnt the value of it."

Ranjitha, Mathuranthaganallur
Bhavana, Murungapakkam

"One evening, while heading to an open field to defecate, a man approached me, and I had to run for my life. Thankfully, my parents and neighbors heard my screams and caught the perpetrator. This incident deeply affected our family and my mother reached out to Sanitation First. Their response was swift—they installed a GroSan toilet in our community. Now, I feel safe and love our new toilet. "

Bhavana, Murungapakkam,

"As a mother of a child with a heart condition, it was distressing to leave him here earlier because he often fell ill due to its unhygienic conditions and lack of toilet. However, the upgraded facility is comfortable secure and my son happily says goodbye when I drop him off each day”

Jeyalakshmi, Parent-
I Mary Jessi

“After I learnt the right technique and importance of handwashing through the Sanitation First personal hygiene training, I thought it was important to teach my mentally challenged brother too. Now, he knows and remembers to wash his hands at critical times. Sanitation First has recognized me as a Hygiene Champion I am so happy”

I Mary Jessi, R C Primary School
Viji, Masimanagar

“Previously, women and girls here had to defecate in the open, facing dangers from animals and harassment from people hiding in the bushes, especially under the worse conditions of the rainy season with knee-deep floods. Now, with access to proper toilets, we are free from the fears of open defecation and can feel safe from both human and animal threats. This change has greatly improved our dignity and quality of life.”

Viji, Masimanagar,
Akilandeshwari, Teacher, ICDS Virudhunagar Dt

"I have been actively promoting soap collection for the soap bank at our center, and the community response has been outstanding, with monthly contributions exceeding 20 soaps. Because of this, we introduced soap bank in the nearby primary school by donating our excess soaps. The headmaster and students were thrilled and committed to embracing the soap bank concept for the safety and health of the children."

Akilandeshwari, Teacher, ICDS Virudhunagar Dt,
Nirmala, Primary school Teacher, Chennai

“Our school serves nearly 60 children, and previously, we lacked safe drinking water. Thankfully, our situation has improved significantly since we received Terrafil water filters and our children and are really happy.”

Nirmala, Primary school Teacher, Chennai,
Dr Kannadasan, Padur PHC

“As the sole healthcare provider for about 25,000 people across 35 villages, our facility is crucial for all primary healthcare needs. Previously, we lacked a dedicated ward for newborns and mothers. The establishment of a dedicated Birthing Center has helped us deliver close to a hundred children in the comfortable and healthy environment, which helped our center stand first in NQAS in the state."

Dr Kannadasan, Padur PHC,

Stay Connected

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Visit the website of our Parent organisation the Cycle