Marking the World Toilet Day today, a campaign was launched to build awareness of sanitation and hygiene in India with a call to make toilets "cool and sexy".
WASHUnited & Quicksand launched the campaign titled "Toilets Are Beautiful" in partnership with the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to eradicate the menace of open defecation in the country.
The organisers have opened a Facebook account to promote the campaign launched as part of The Nirmal Bharat Yatra, a sanitation and hygiene awareness and behaviour change programme conceptualized and implemented by WASH United & Quicksand--an NGO from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Western-style and Indian squat toilet seats will be placed at both Dilli Haat and then Connaught Place and volunteers will sit or squat on these toilet seats (in rotation) 24 x 7 ż till the Facebook record is broken within a few days, they said.
"For long, toilets and shit have remained taboo words even though their use provide protection against diarrhoea and thousands of lives saved every day. Time is now ripe to make toilets cool and sexy. Please join the 'Toilets Are Beautiful' campaign as we set out to achieve this goal and get every 'poo' in the loo", said Nirat Bhatnagar, Principal, Quicksand.
Stressing on the need to enhance the purview of the campaign, Pankaj Jain, Joint Secretary, Drinking and Sanitation Ministry said "this campaign should be spread to urban India as well not and just restrict it to villages because it is a stark fact that 60 million urban population still defecates in open."
Passersby will also be invited to sit on these toilet seats placed next to a specially-designed backdrop and record personal messages in support of sanitation campaign, they said.