Why Take Poo to The Loo?
Daily 620 million Indians are defecating in the open. That’s half the population dumping over 65 million kilos of poo out there every day. 
If this poo continues to be let loose on us, there will be no escaping the stench of life threatening infections, diseases and epidemics.
Think about it. Half the population doesn’t use a toilet while the other half of the population accepts it. We simply accept India as it is.  We are part of the issue, part of the acceptance. 
So, if you give a shit about this issue, then don’t just scrunch up 
your nose and walk away.
Join the ‘Take Poo to the Loo’ campaign and pledge your support to a poo-free nation. 
You may join this campaign by signing a personal pledge that will reach the Hon’ble President of India. 
Every time you and your friends take the pledge, you signal your intolerance towards an India that accepts open defecation to none other than the Hon’ble President of India.
facts & stats
  • Globally, India has the largest number of people, more than 620 million still defecating in the open. About half the population of India use toilets. 
  • With 44 per cent of mothers disposing their children’s faeces in the open, there is a very high risk of microbial contamination (bacteria, viruses, amoeba) of water which causes diarrhea in children. 
  • Children weakened by frequent diarrhea episodes are more vulnerable to malnutrition, stunting, and opportunistic infections such as pneumonia. About 48 per cent of children in India are suffering from some degree of malnutrition. Diarrhea and worm infection are two major health conditions that affect school age children impacting their learning abilities. 
  • Although access to sanitation in rural India is improving, the increase is not equitable. Open defecation is still almost universal among the poorest 20% of the population.
  • Women and girls face shame and a loss of personal dignity and safety risk if there is no toilet at home. They have to wait for the night to relieve themselves to avoid being seen by others.
  • A very low proportion of the rural population in India uses improved sanitation (facilities which ensure hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact). Almost 70 per cent do not have access to toilets in rural India.
  • There has been good progress in providing toilet and hand washing facilities in schools in India.
  • The number of schools having toilet facility in India has increased from 0.6 million (52%) in 2005-06 to 1.14 million (84%) in 2010-11. In Indian rural schools, toilet facility increased from 0.4 million schools (49%) in 2005-06 to 0.7 million schools (79%) in 2009-10, where they have at least one toilet facility.
  • Almost 28 million school children across India do not have access to school toilet facilities.
  • The number of schools having separate toilet facility for girls is increased from 4.20 lakh (37.4%) in 2005-06 to 10.05 lakh (72.16%) in 2011-12. However, there are huge issues of quality of construction of these facilities, functionality and use.
  • Adequate, well-maintained water supply and sanitation facilities in schools encourage children to attend school regularly and help them achieve their educational goals.
  • Inadequate water supply and sanitation in schools are health hazards and affect school attendance, retention and educational performance.
  • Although access to improved sanitation is steadily increasing in India, the use of improved sanitation in the country remains an enormous challenge.
  • 7 states in India (Orissa, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar) account for almost 50% (13.8 million) children without access to toilet facilities in schools.  
  • Adolescent girls are especially vulnerable to dropping out, as many are reluctant to continue their schooling because toilet facilities are not private, not safe or simply not available. The number of schools in India having separate toilet facility for girls increased from 0.4 million (37%) in 2005-06 to 0.8 million (60%) in 2010. 
  • India, at the current rate of progress will only achieve the sanitation target of MDG 7 –c- in 2054.
  • Water safety is being compromised by open defecation as faeces in the open contaminate drinking water in family and community wells.
Hello Stranger!
Me and millions of my Poo friends are out there watching you
- our victim.But for now, enjoy the show.
UNICEF Technical Assistance in India
India Country Office | Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Oct 2013

UNICEF's Mandate

Since 1949, UNICEF, the largest United Nations organization in India remains fully committed to working with the Government of India to ensure that each child gets the best start in life, and thrives and develops to his or her full potential.

The challenge is enormous but UNICEF is well placed to meet it. Through its unique presence comprising New Delhi and 13 state officesUNICEF uses quality research and data to understand issues, implements new and innovative interventions that address the situation of the poorest and most disadvantaged women and children, and works with partners to accelerate change.

UNICEF uses its community-level knowledge to develop interventions to ensure that women and children are able to access basic services such as clean drinking water, health workers and educational facilities, and that these services are of high quality. UNICEF also reaches out directly to families to help them to understand what they must do to ensure their children thrive.UNICEF also wants them to feel a sense of ownership of these services. That same knowledge and interface with communities enables the organization to tackle issues that would otherwise be difficult to address: for example the elimination of open defecation and safe household drinking water.

UNICEF Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in India

UNICEF is not an implementing organization so does not directly construct toilets and water systems. Instead it supports the Government of India and State Government programs through high level technical advice. The Government of India and State Governments together allocated 220 billion Rupees (approx. 4.4 billion USD) into WASH in 2011/12; UNICEF contributed financially about 0.23% of this but its attribution and contribution is far higher due to the quality and impact it levers as the main government partner for WASH in the States.

During the period 2013-2017 and especially looking at the impact on the most deprived communities,UNICEF WASH will focus solely on technical advice in support scaling-up improved and service delivery of:

  • Safe and sustainable water
  • Community approaches to eliminate open defecation and promote the adoption of hygiene practices, especially in the most deprived communities
  • WASH in Schools and AWCs; and
  • Access to data, evidence, information and knowledge to guide WASH advocacy, policy, planning, program and budgetary action
UNICEF will also work to embed critical water, sanitation and hygiene practices in child and maternal health services and facilities; and promote these with mothers to improve new born and infant care. This requires a strong focus on assisting governments to align government flagship programs in rural development, child nutrition, health and education with water, sanitation and hygiene.

The UNICEF WASH team has over 20 professionals providing key technical assistance, monitoring and evaluation inputsand best practice sharing and knowledge management. It is one of the few actors in WASH at State and District levels, particularly in the least developed districts. National level advocacy, e.g. at parliament and legislative assembly as well as strengthening of policy and guidance, for example around communication and NBA guidelines, are developed by government with UNICEF support.

UNICEF advocacy helps to demonstrate the critical role of behavior change for toilet use, hygiene and WASH in Schools. Using evidence of surveys and studies that show barriers in sustained use of toilets and Panchayats slipping back to open defecation after receiving the Nirmal Gram Puraskar (Clean Village Award) is one example of UNICEF's credibility at National and State level.

UNICEF's strategy, especially at State level, is to add quality to government strategy, policy andimplementation. A joint plan of action with the PHED focuses on areas especially linked to system strengthening (principally on increased monitoring with quality) and capacity building (principally around communication, water quality, emergency preparedness and response and areas such as change management, quality assurance issues).
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