Category Archives: Diarrhea

Good Old Terra Cotta Pots Still Make the Best RO System


Pramila Krishnan




By Pramila Krishnan


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

(Excerpt from “Alarm bell rings for ground water” – Deccan Chronicle)

Botany Prof S. Saravana Babu of Chicka Naicker College, in Erode, and his team have been propagating a traditional three-pot, water purifying system among many villages in Erode district.

Even now many families prefer using this native purifier, which is much cheaper and just as good, if not better, compared to the modern UV/reverse osmosis purifiers.

“This pot purifier is nothing new. When I studied the quality of water from the Cauvery river in Mettur-Erode for a research project, I learnt that its fluoride content was very high and the water had traces of pesticides,” said Prof Babu.

With his teammates, he observed that some families there purified water using clean sand as a filtration agent. The team then got down to working on a model that could address the problem of water pollution.

The three-pot water purifier
The three-pot water purifier.

“After several rounds of discussions, we came up with the three-pot purifier model. The first two pots will have three small holes through which water would pass through the filtration agents and reach the third pot. The first pot will have ‘activated carbon’, which could be prepared easily by burning coconut shell.

The second pot will have pebbles. The third one will have a tap. If you fill water in the first pot at night, the water would pass through the two filters and you will get clean, purified water from the tap in the morning,” explained Prof Babu.

His pots steeply cut down on fluoride and pesticide contamination to make available pure water for consumption “even by the aged and kids”. He said the pebbles and coconut shell carbon pieces should be changed once a fortnight.

The entire ‘device’ could cost about Rs 100 and there are plans to arrange for mass production, which could reduce the cost further.


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Video: Help a Child Reach 5


Myself By T.V. Antony Raj


The World Health Organization (WHO) defines diarrhea (or diarrhoea) as the health disorder of having three or more loose or fluid bowel movements per day or having more stools than is normal for a person.

DiarrheaMany people have a bout of diarrhea once or twice each year. Typically frequent bowel movements last two to three days, and in most cases treated with over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. In some people, diarrhea often occurs as part of irritable bowel syndrome or due to other chronic diseases of the large intestine. The loss of essential fluids due to diarrhea cause dehydration that cause electrolyte disorders like potassium deficiency as well as other salt imbalances.

Though diarrhea is very common and usually not serious in normal circumstances, WHO  considers it as the major cause of death in developing countries and the second most frequent cause of infant deaths worldwide.


In 2009, diarrhea caused the death of 1.5 million children under the age of five and 1.1 million people aged five and over.

The most common cause of diarrhea is the infection of the gut by a virus. The infection sometimes called “intestinal flu” or “stomach flu” lasts usually for two to three days. Diarrhea may also be caused by:

      • Infection by bacteria (the cause of most types of food poisoning)
      • Infections by certain other organisms,
      • Eating foods that upset the digestive system,
      • Malabsorption where the digestive system is unable to absorb adequately certain nutrients present in the diet,
      • Allergies to certain foods,
      • Diabetes,
      • Some medications,
      • Radiation therapy,
      • Diseases of the intestines like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis,
      • Hyperthyroidism,
      • Some types of cancer,
      • Excess use of laxatives,
      • Excess consumption of Alcohol,
      • Surgery in the digestive tract,
      • Competitive running.

Diarrhea may also follow a constipation in people who have irritable bowel syndrome.

Recently, I came across this video on YouTube. It is an advertisement produced for Lifebuoy. Normally, I do not endorse advertisements. However, I wish to share the video with you for the way it caught my attention and led me to the subject of diarrhea.