He was the original bad man of Bollywood, and today he is back with a new message. The next time you’re in Delhi, don’t be surprised if you see a huge mural where Sholay’s iconic Gabbar Singh is telling Basanti to not defecate in the open. Giving him company are murals of Bollywood stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Hrithik Roshan, all with a special ‘toilet’ message.
In a country where Bollywood is almost a religion, this is probably one of the most effective ways of preaching the benefits of using toilets. We still live in a country where over 450 million people defecate in the open, and no amount of GDP growth or development seems to be countering that. Even where toilets are built, it’s difficult to undo years of social conditioning, and more often than not, people don’t use these toilets. Which is why the students of Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS) came up with a novel idea – Not only would they build toilets, but they would use the power of Bollywood to keep people in those toilets.
Project ‘Raahat’ started by taking over four toilet complexes in the slums of Sultanpuri and Kirti Nagar in New Delhi. Next came the transformation stage, where each toilet was cleaned and completely renovated. The project volunteers also used this time to educate the slum-dwellers about the hazards of open defecation. The end result – In Sultanpuri alone, open defecation has been reduced from 95% to 3%.
Here’s our pick of some of Bollywood’s most famous dialogues in their “Swachh” avatar.
1. Now, no one in their right mind would disobey Gabbar, would they?
2. This parody poster of Dhoom minces no words. It’s asking people to build one toilet near their house and stop going to the open fields.
3. “Ek Saaf Toilet Ki Kimat Tum Kya Jano..” How can anybody say no to such a request now!
4. When Big B turns into a ‘Swachh’ messenger, it’s hard to ignore him
5. ‘Bhai!’ or Salman Khan has the most important message of all
6. This one is for all Katrina Kaif fans out there!
7. And since good habits start early, Shin Chan has something to say to the children of Sultanpuri
8. This one just to catch the attention of more children and put them on the road to sanitation
To know more about this project contact Aanisha Belur, Associate at Project Raahat, Enactus SSCBS at firstname.lastname@example.org