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International toilet festival in Delhi

PTI 24 Nov 2014, 12:46:48 PM IST

New Delhi: Seven countries—Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Laos, Vietnam and Afghanistan including India are set to participate in an upcoming festival here, which aims to create awareness about the importance of toilets!  The International Toilet Festival, a three-day event that begins here from November 18 is being organised by Sulabh International an social service organisation founded by Brindeshwar Pathak.

“The whole purpose is to draw the attention of masses towards the issue of sanitation which often raises a stink and is considered taboo,” says Pathak.

The opening ceremony is set to see a convergence of about 1,000 students from the participating countries form a human chain as part of pledge for “Toilet for All by 2019”.  “Around 2000 persons including 1000 school children, 200 liberated manual scavengers, 100 widows and others relating to the sanitation sector will actively take part in the event.  They will form human chain carrying a fibre toilet pot on head at a common place in Central Delhi at the opening day,” says Pathak.

A two feet high big toilet pot in black and white fashioned out of fibre glass, wooden sheets, plaster of Paris and other materials created by Sulabh engineers will be displayed at the event.

“We will dedicate the Toilet Pot to the Sulabh Toilet Museum in South West Delhi. We may even send it to Guinness or Limca books in future. Hope they will do research and judge it. It's an attempt to draw the attention of masses about taboo topic toilet,” says Pathak.

A Sulabh Toilet Rath is also set to be flagged off at the event. “The rath is expected to travel across the country taking with it a message related to the importance of toilets.  Films relating to sanitation will be shown in villages,” says Pathak.

“The event has been organised to create awareness about the importance of toilets in keeping with the ‘Swachch Bharat' campaign of the Narendra Modi government. PM has taken up the cause to make India clean and to build toilets for all so that India could be free from open defecation. Certainly the message has created a ripple effect,” says Pathak.

A series of activities have also been planned in Hirmithila village in Mewat in Haryana, which, according to Sulabh has a cent per cent sanitation coverage.