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Loos of the world, unite

On November 19, 2008, the World Toilet Day was celebrated for the first time. Delhi has some 3,000 public toilets but the city needs at least 50,000 to free itself from the open urination menace.

entertainment Updated: Nov 23, 2010 01:24 IST
Aroma Sah

Delhi has some 3,000 public toilets but the city needs at least 50,000 to free itself from the open urination menace. Looking at the growing population and the number of people who are spotted answering nature’s call on walls, pavements, bushes and behind trees, it is no surprise that on November 19, 2008, the World Toilet Day was celebrated for the first time. The city celebrated it again this Friday.



“When we first started working towards this cause, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi lent a lot of support,” said Bindeshwar Pathak, founder, Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement. “So, when during an international conference in Singapore it was decided to have a day dedicated to celebrate a day on toilets and the importance of cleanliness, we thought of keeping it on Mrs Gandhi’s birthday,” The theme of the programme was ‘Health Begins from the Toilet’.



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Actor Amrita Rao, who was in the city to talk about the importance of the day, said, “It is a unique cause and there are women, who till date, are ferrying excreta on their head due to lack of proper system of sanitation.” The actor added that she is extremely concerned about the cause and wants people to be aware about sanitation and hygiene. Previously, there have been actors, such as Katrina Kaif, Gul Panag and Raima Sen, who have been associated with the cause.



At the event held in the FICCI auditorium, Mandi House, the drama ‘

Maila Dhone Se Mukti’

was presented by the students of the National School of Drama. It focused on the liberation and rehabilitation of scavengers. There were also a performance by comedian Sunil Pal. Contestants of a television singing reality show too participated, along with children from 10 schools of Delhi. Pathak said, “We want to make the World Toilet day a ritual, but that should not limit our work. This is a cause that needs growing awareness and we must keep working towards sanitation and imbibing the culture of sanitation in the city’s people. We have given the concept and now it is up to the government to take it forward.” The US Army has asked Sulabh International to help them put up more public toilets in Kandahar.