16. A museum dedicated to the history of the toilet
In 1970, Sulabh International formed in India to improve the sanitation and hygiene systems and practices of the people. A non-profit supported by more than 50,000 volunteers, Sulabh International has created innovations in waste management, waste storage and removal, and other improvements to sanitation. It operates public facilities, sometimes called Sulabh Complexes, which provide toilet, bathing, and laundry facilities. They are resorted to by nearly 10 million per day. Their work is internationally recognized and lauded. In 2007 the organization announced the creation of a toilet which breaks down human waste into recoverable biogas and fertilizer. So, it is really no surprise that an International Museum of Toilets, located in Delhi, India, is operated by Sulabh International for the education of the public.
The museum, through its displays and artifacts, traces the development and use of toilets throughout the world as far back as 2500 BCE. According to its website, it also holds a “rare collection of beautiful poems”, praising the use of toilets. The history of the toilet and how to use it can be traced chronologically through 5,000 years, by touring the museums three main sections; Ancient, Medieval, and Modern. The website boasts the latter section contains, among other things, “interesting toilet related cartoons” as well as a section with “toilet jokes”. Bidets are also displayed and explained in the museum and its website. The museum draws tourists, students, and the merely curious, as well as dignitaries visiting Delhi, and is entirely supported by the Sulabh organization. For those curious about the history of sanitation and the human practice of relieving the call of nature it is a must see.