Ecotoilets @ Pathashala – A School for Learners @ Vallipuram, TamilNadu

If the urine from every member of the Indian population is used for agriculture with appropriate technology, we will save thousands of crores of rupees worth of fertilizer, exclaims Gautam, the Director of Pathashala, a school located about 80 kms away from Chennai. This school has been started with a vision of educating its students and teachers to live a sustainable life. One of the hightlights of this school is the eco toilets they have.

Name of the School – Pathashaala
Founded by Padmaji, Krishnamurti Foundation of India  (KFI)
Activities– A whole lot of sustainable activities such as solar, wind mills, biogas, eco toilets etc
Highlights – Have developed eco toilets that collect urine and faecus separately and use them as fertilizer and compost respectively. They are have an organic farm that provides food to all the residents of Paathashaala as well as The School, located @ Adyar, Chennai

Location: Vallipuram, about 80kms from Chennai

Pathashaala, located at a place called Vallipuram located @ the outskirts of Chennai  has been set up by the Chnenai Education Centre of the Krishnamurthi Foundation of India.  Even before its inception in 2010, the founders wanted the school to emerge as an eco school  carrying out different sustainable acts. Pathashaala got off to a small start on 19 August 2010 in a mixed age classroom with 14  students and 3 teachers.

Sources reveal that the the staff and the students of the school teach and learn the sustainable way of life in the school. For instance, the school has its own organic farm and grows all the food that is  required for the students and the staff. They also supply their extra food to their sister concern- “ The School” that is located @ Adyar, Chennai..

The campus is huge and has been designed in such a way that it can harness natural resources such as solar and wind.

One of the unique concept of this school is that they have dry composting toilets.

The toilets here have specialized closets  that collects urine and this urine is diluted with  water and  used as a plant fertiliser. The urine is pathogen-free and also contains  Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium ( NPK) that is required for plant growth. Similarily, the excreta from these eco toilets are collected separately dried and used as a compost.


Rooftops of Pathashala with Solar Panels. Image Courtesy: Pathashala

Sources reveal that the school  also has roof-top solar panels, wind mills and is also producing biogas. However, more information about the same is not available to EAI at this point.


  • A school called  Pathashaala  located @ the outskirts of Chennai, TamilNadu has only dry composting toilets for use by all students and visitors.
  • The school is also into a whole lot of sustainable activities such as composting, generating solar power, producing biogas, generating electricity through wind, practicing organic farming and so forth.
  • The  organic fruits and vegetables grown in the school garden is used to prepare food for all the students and residents of Pathashaala.

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Author - Narasimhan Santhanam

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