'Toilet is a necessary mean for every human being'

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Singapore, Jan 10: Toilet is a necessary mean for every human being and should be considered as an important segment of the house, a Singapore-based entrepreneur has said ahead of the World Toilet Organisation Summit to be held in New Delhi this month.

More than 500 delegates, including businessmen and academics, will attend the summit and address the issues related to open defecation and stress on the urgent supply of proper toilets, Singapore-based Jack Sim said. Sim is the founder of World Toilet Organisation,  which is organising the summit with World Education Foundation and India's Urban Development Ministry.

'Toilet is necessary for human being'

"Toilet is a necessary mean for every human being and should be considered as an important segment of the house," Sim told PTI. "Have a colourfully-painted bright toilet that provide comfortable environment for individual to ease himself," said Sim, who has held annual toilet summits in major developing cities for the past 13 years stressing on the health issues among rural people.

The Delhi summit would be 14th in the series and Sim wants to impress upon Indian leaders, politicians, academics, civil servants and businessmen to lead in proving "proper" toilets to every citizen of the country. "Toilet will become a status symbol," he said, pointing out the need for peer pressure on making every individual aware of the health-issues related to open defecation.

Sim also highlighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which has progressed with the sanitation agenda in India and achieved widespread support. The toilet summit aims to build on this success. Elaborating on the summit objectives, Anuraag Saxena, special advisor to the UK-based World Education Foundation, called for the need to start educating pupils and students on health issues, cleanliness and toilet requirements and disciplines.

"It is now well-established that thousands of girls are dropping out when they hit puberty largely because of a lack of toilets in their schools. We are unconsciously building in gender-inequality from an early age," Saxena said.

"Educators and policy makers spend so much energy and resources on curriculum, teacher-quality and school-infrastructure. But none of this matters when a child doesn't even come to school," he said.

The government is determined to improve the sanitation and hygiene in the country and "we are taking all possible steps for the same," said Shankar Aggarwal Secretary Ministry of Urban Development. "We are confident together with organisation such as World Toilet Organisation and World Education Foundation, we will achieve our goal," he said.

PTI

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