New Delhi: Making toilets available for every family who have been deprived of proper sanitation facilities is one of the most important tasks the central government is trying to perform, Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhaya said here Wednesday.
He said that through proper awareness the central government was trying to sensitise the people in the villages and the semi-urban areas about how the use of toilets can prevent them from dreaded diseases like diarrhoea.
Upadhaya was speaking at the flagging-off ceremony of “Sulabh Swachhata Rath”, a campaign to raise awareness about toilets among the people in villages. BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh Jagdambika Pal was also present on the occasion.
The function was part of the three-day International Toilet Festival (Nov 18-20) organised by the Sulabh International to mark World Toilet Day.
During the campaign, an eco-friendly bus equipped with solar panels and screens will go to villages across the country to show movies which will create awareness about the importance of toilets.
Upadhaya said initiatives like the Sulabh Swachhata Rath will be effective in conveying the message regarding the importance of toilets.
As per recent studies, more than 1,600 children under the age of five die daily in India due to diarrhoea caused by lack of sanitation.
Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International, said: “The motive of such initiatives is to make people more and more aware about toilets. It is a fact that lack of toilets in every house, specially in the villages and rural areas, is a curse for the people.”
He said Sulabh International being an NGO was doing everything it could for the cause. However, it had certain limitations which can be fulfilled by the government.
Sulabh International observes World Toilet Day
To observe World Toilet Day today, Sulabh International put on display a 700-kg cake in the shape of toilet pot at the Constitution Club here, to raise awareness about sanitation among the masses.
A special bus, named “Sulabh Swachhata Rath”, equipped with audio-visual gadget that will tour around the country for the next five years to raise awareness on sanitation, was also flagged off at the event by Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay.
Sulabh International, a non-governmental organisation campaigning against open defecation, has also organised a three-day festival, which was launched yesterday at the Central Park here.
A large number of children belonging to Sulabh School Sanitation Clubs, widows from Vrindavan and manual scavengers took part in the celebrations that also had student delegates from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan.
Spelling out the need for a trained workforce which will work on sanitation measures, Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak said that around 50,000 youths could turn around the dismal state of sanitation.
“Implementing the Sulabh model requires trained manpower of around 50,000 youths who will work as motivators and raise awareness by visiting rural households,” he said.
“Apart from skilled labour we also need around 2 lakh masons in order to construct the scientific toilets in about a little more than 6 lakh villages in the country,” he added.
While praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approach on sanitation, Pathak expressed displeasure over what he termed lackadaisical attitude of government officials on measures on sanitation.
“Government officials still talk about implementing the tried and tested trickle down approach instead of adopting our low cost and efficient model,” he said.
The NGO also handed over sanitary napkin dispensers and waste treatment machines to nine Delhi schools on the occasion.