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World Toilet Summit 2018

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Why India?

A large number of Indian population lacks access to proper, well-functioning sanitation facilities. Rural India faces the biggest brunt with only 44% having access to good sanitation facilities as opposed to the 92% in urban India. A staggering 355 million women and girls wait for a toilet in India, and if they were all to stand in a queue, it would stretch around the Earth more than four times.

Health risks aside, open defecation subjects women and girls to embarrassment and compromise their dignity, putting them at risk of verbal and even physical abuse. To avoid the experience, they often avoid eating and drinking during the day, making it difficult for them to concentrate on their studies at school. It is estimated that almost 23% of adolescent girls in India drop out from schools due to lack of separate toilet facilities. Thus, there has always been a dire need for a revolution in thought process and an intervention in the social systems when it came to sanitation advocacy.

The Indian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) in October 2014to achieve full sanitation coverage by 2019 in commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. There has been immense progress in improving access to sanitation across India in the following four years, with 52 million household toilets built between October 2014 and November 2017. India now ranks among the top 10 nations for reducing open defecation and improving access to basic sanitation. However, there is still a long way to go.

Vision & Mission of the 2018 Summit

World Toilet Summit 2018 will lay special focus on the evolution and journey of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and envisions itself as being a pioneer in motivating the successful completion of the mission by reaching 100% WASH coverage in households and schools in India.

Furthermore, the mission can only sustain when we also incorporate solutions for behaviour change, maintenance and sustenance of toilet usage and promoting innovations in WASH, along with solutions for faecal sludge management. Increase in toilets leads toa healthier and cleaner environment. Hence, we need to promote sustainable and viable solutions for the efficient management of toilets.

The two-day summit will commence on 19 November, 2018 in Mumbai, on the occasion of World Toilet Day. The summit is being officially supported by the government of Maharashtra, and will consist of keynote address, panel discussions, as well as awards in different categories from WASH sector.

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Key Agenda

The World Toilet Summit will close the gap between government, corporate and civil society by creating multi-sector partnerships to accelerate collaborations for progress in WASH. The summit will be linked to the Swachh Bharat, SwachhVidyalaya, and Dettol Banega Swachh India. Through World Toilet Summit in India, we aim to achieve the following key objectives:

  • Beyond the Swachh Bharat Mission: From toilet coverage to toilet usage
  • Sustainability of the open defecation free status in Maharashtra: Toilet maintenance, behaviour change, design and funding innovation
  • Reaching 100% WASH coverage in schools and 100% safely managed sanitation at the household level
  • Alleviating WASH challenges: The role of design and innovation

Theme for 2018

Each year, World Toilet Summit follows a specific theme and this year’s theme is “When Nature Calls”. Through this theme, the summit strives to advocate the fact that often the solutions to all WASH problemslie around us in nature itself, we just need to seek them out and establish compatibility with the environment. The idea will be further explored via nine sub-themes over the course of the two-day event.