Toilets and sanitation play a very important role in human life. With that said, it is very important to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining sanitation and hygiene, especially in toilets and further also to create more awareness about building toilets in households. As a part of this, 19 November has been observed as World Toilet Day since 2013. While the day was officially designated by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the Indian government also celebrates the day as a part of its Swachh Bharat mission aimed towards promoting awareness of Swachhata or sanitation.
World Toilet Day History
It was an initiative taken up by Jack Sim from Singapore who initially founded an NGO named World Toilet Organisation in the year 2001. The United Nations also recognised the right to water and sanitation as a fundamental human right in 2010.
After years of efforts to recognise the day, finally, on 24 July 2013, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in its 67th session passed a resolution further designating 19 November as World Toilet Day.
During this while, UNGA not only highlighted the negative impacts of inadequate sanitation or less awareness about hygiene and sanitary services, but it also recognised the least progress made in the field. The resolution titled ‘Sanitation for All’ encouraged increased access to sanitation in line with public health concerns, especially for people from the poorer sections of the society.
World Toilet Day Significance
World Toilet Day is aimed towards spreading awareness about proper sanitation and hygiene practices especially due to factors concerning health issues and the safety of women. While the day encourages people to avoid open defecation practices, it further also highlights the need to build more toilets in households and public places.
It is pertinent to note that the global sanitation crisis has affected billions of people across the world which further necessitates the need to provide such people with proper and safe sanitation. Keeping this in mind, it has become the need of the hour to act immediately and further resolve the crisis.
World Toilet Day Theme
The theme for this year’s World Toilet Day is focused on groundwater sanitation i.e., ‘MAKING THE INVISIBLE VISIBLE’.
As stated on their official website, inadequate sanitation systems have been aiding in spreading human waste into rivers, lakes, and soil, which further contaminates the underground water resources. Therefore, to manage sanitation, protect underground water from human waste pollution, and further look over the link between sanitation and groundwater, this year’s World Toilet Day focuses on making the ‘invisible visible’.
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