- The character of Shaucha Singh is a salesman who busts myths on sanitation
- Ten audio clips have been released on YouTube, busting several such myths
- The audio clips will also be played regularly on All India Radio
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in its three years of existence has come up with a number of unique campaigns, roped in celebrities and developed creatively animated short features to sensitise people about the need of having toilets at home. The latest entrant in Swachh Bharat Gramin’s sensitisation campaign is the quirky, funny and persuasive salesman Shaucha Singh, who while selling sanitation products such as soap and handwash, busts popular myths on sanitation and encourages people not to practice open defecation. Shaucha Singh’s audio clips have all been uploaded on Swachh Bharat Gramin’s official YouTube channel.
A little over two minutes in length, Shaucha Singh’s series of ten videos bust popular myths related to sanitation, toilets and open defecation. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has been promoted throughout the past three years as a mission which also attempts to bring in behavioural change among people. One of the many challenges encountered by proponents of the Abhiyan while going to rural areas and advocating the mission’s objectives was the myths which were prevalent about sanitation. Myths ranging from toilets are impure to these are expensive to maintain were encountered by many district officials. Via these short audio clips, the Shaucha Singh tries to break down such myths.
One such audio clip, which busts the myth of how open defecation is healthy begins with Shaucha Singh interacting with a potential customer who defends open defecation and says the act is healthy because one gets to go to the fields early in the morning and relieve himself. On hearing this, Shaucha Singh explains how open defecation inevitably leads to the spread of diseases such as diarrhoea. The enigmatic salesman also explains that open defecation and resulting diseases are reasons why expenditure on medicines often reaches high proportions. By the end of the clip, Shaucha Singh manages to convince the customer to build a toilet at home.
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We wanted short audio clips which will bust sanitation myths in a funny and convincing manner. The character of a salesman who goes from home to home to bust such myths will resonate well with people and clear their misconceptions on toilets and sanitation,” said a Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation official.
Apart from busting the myth about open defecation being healthy, Shaucha Singh’s videos bust popular myths such as healthy men should not use toilets, impurity and smelliness of toilets, toilets require lot of space and water, toilets are for rich and the pits of toilets will become full too soon. The clips involve a conversation between the character Shaucha Singh and a potential customer believing in a sanitation myth, before Shaucha Singh successfully debunks the myth and convinces the other person.
Apart from releasing the clips online, Shaucha Singh will also be a regular presence in All India Radio where the audio clips will be played at regular intervals. The Ministry is hopeful that Shaucha Singh’s clips on All India Radio, which continues to have a strong listenership in rural areas, will have an impact on the behavioural change aspect of the mission and make it easier for district administrations in toilet construction programmes.