Open Defecation Free Simhasth

‘#Loowithaview’ -Water Aid and WASH Alliance come together in the Ujjain Kumbha Mela

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President of Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh) and Co-Founder of Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji, Secretary-General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, inaugurated the “Loo with a View” today at the #Ujjain Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv – 2016.

It is an enclosed #toilet stall where the door is a one-way mirror door through which the person on the outside sees a mirror on the door but on the inside, the person using the toilet can look at the outside world. This gives a sense of what it’s like to defecate in an open space which appeals to many men who enjoy the freedom of defecating in the open. Additionally the creative and innovative toilet concept exposes the embarrassment felt by so many women and girls in this nation when they have no choice but to defecate in the open. In this way, the lack of safe and private toilets was profoundly and intelligently displayed by WaterAid India in association with the Ujjain Municipal Corporation.

The message of ‘#SwachhSimhastha, #SwasthHum’ echoed in the hearts of thousands of pilgrims visiting the mela at this event focused on #WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) organised by the partnership of Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, WaterAid India, Simhastha Kumbh Mela authority and Bhartiya Grameen Mahila Sangh.

Pujya Swamiji led the pledge of making India #OpenDefecationFree. He said, Nearly 600 million, or half of India’s population defecate in the open, resulting in our precious water sources getting contaminated by sewage waste, which leads to 1200-1600 deaths of children under the age of 5 every day. The inauguration was to support the initiative to make Simhastha Kumbha Mela and India completely open defecation free.

On the occasion Pujya Swamiji shared, “Through these innovative new solutions let us spread the message that the time has come for Meditation and Sanitation to go hand in hand. This is a creative and effective move to raise awareness towards the urgent & critical need to end open defecation and pollution of our sacred water bodies with sewage waste, and the need for us all to build and to use toilets. From Simhasth Ujjain let us spread this message to ensure adequate sanitation for all.”

Sadhvi Bhagawatiji shared, “This loo with a view is a great invention and a great innovation to help end the practice of open defecation. Now we need to have implementation of the innovation, and bring these toilets into every school, every village and every community. With these toilets, those who love to defecate in the open can continue to have the feeling of the open air, and those who are not open defecators can have compassion and understanding for what our 600 million sisters and brothers go through every day. Through this inspired invention, innovation and implementation I am sure we will be able to create a #Swachh and #Swasth #India.”

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