World Toilet Day 2020: Jack Sim, Founder Of World Toilet Organisation And Mark Balla, Author, Talk About The Importance Of Hygiene During COVID PandemicJack Sim, Founder Of World Toilet Organisation and Mark Balla, Author, talk about the importance of sanitation and hygiene during #COVID pandemic
Highlights
  • November 19 is observed as World Toilet Day
  • Government should invest in health as much as possible: Jack Sim
  • The combination of clean toilets and lives is unbeatable: Mark Balla

New Delhi: November 19 marks as World Toilet Day, an official United Nations International Observance day to inspire action to tackle the global crisis of sanitation and raise awareness on the crucial role that sanitation and hygiene plays in reducing disease outbreaks and creating healthier communities. As India observes the day, NDTV speaks with toilet warriors – Jack Sim, Founder Of World Toilet Organisation and Mark Balla, Author to know about the importance of hygiene and sanitation in today’s scenario, when the world is fighting COVID-19.

Also Read: India Strengthens Its Resolve Of ‘Toilet For All’ On World Toilet Day, Says Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Talking about the importance of World Toilet Day in today’s day and age, Jack Sim, Founder Of World Toilet Organisation said,

This year’s World Toilet Day is the most important because of the coronavirus pandemic. Never before, in the history of the mankind, awareness on hygiene was so high. Everywhere, people are talking about washing hands, keeping safe distance and maintains good hygiene so that they protect themselves and others from this highly contagious virus.

Also Read: World Toilet Day 2020: Beyond The ODF Tag, India’s Next Big Challenge

Further talking about the importance of good sanitation and hygiene practices, Jack Sim said,

Even without COVID, 2 million people die of Diarrhoea every year. With COVID, we have suddenly realised that hygiene and sanitation are life saving. But, what we actually need is the same focus throughout even without the pandemic. We all need to fight this bigger pandemic of ‘sanitation practices’, which is slowly taking lives of millions and millions of people and polluting the environment in a big way.

Also Read: This Work Has Given Me An Identity: Shalini, A Transgender And A Caretaker Of Community Toilets In A Telangana Locality

Sharing example of Singapore and talking about the impact of health on economy, Jack Sim added,

I grew up in Singapore and that time it was a very poor country. Our GDP was just 500 dollars a year. We didn’t have money to pay for hospitals or health crisis. But the government there invested a lot in water, sanitation and hygiene and because of which diseases like cholera, typhoid hepatitis went away. This is the biggest example that proves that a country can move from third world to first world if they invest and invest in health. Once the country has healthy people they can go to work, be more productive and instead of spending their salaries on huge medical bills, they can spend it on themselves. Now, Singapore is the fourth country with highest per capita. I think, the same formula can be applied to any country in the world and it will prove beneficial as when you prevent it is cheaper than cure.

Also Read: Promoted Under The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, A User Assesses The ‘Twin Pit’ Toilet Technology

On the other hand, Mark Balla, Author talks about his journey as a toilet warrior and said,

My journey as a toilet warrior is totally an accident. 10 years ago, I was in India for my business, I met few young men, who lived in Dharvi, Mumbai and they took me to visit the school and their community. I learned that there was no toilet in the school and in the community and that’s why all girls there had to dropout from the school. That was the big turning point in my life, I realised, I needed to learn more about sanitation and toilets.

Mark Balla since then has been focusing on building toilets across India, especially in schools. He added,

Handwashing lessons that we give to children in schools will save their and their family’s life in future. We started by building one or two toilets and now through are projects we have covered over 1 lakh children across India. Over the years, one of the biggest learnings through our toilet building projects has been that we cannot build toilets for people and walk away. We need to look at building toilets as an holistic approach. We need to teach people about using the toilets, handwashing and how they can practice good hygiene. Behavioural change is the key to everything in India.

Reiterating the point of importance of sanitation in the times of coronavirus, Mark Balla further said, “Handwashing and good hygiene is so important, it saves life on a scale we cannot even imagine. The combination of clean toilets and lives is unbeatable.

Also Read: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: What Are Twin Pit Toilets?

Watch 

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

19,59,54,660Cases
6,30,45,359Active
12,87,22,004Recovered
41,87,297Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,59,54,660 and 41,87,297 have died; 6,30,45,359 are active cases and 12,87,22,004 have recovered as on July 29, 2021 at 4:00 am.

India

3,15,28,114 43,509Cases
4,03,840 4,404Active
3,07,01,612 38,465Recovered
4,22,662 640Deaths
In India, there are 3,15,28,114 confirmed cases including 4,22,662 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,03,840 and 3,07,01,612 have recovered as on July 29, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

62,82,914 6,857

85,913 466

60,64,856 6,105

1,32,145 286

Kerala

33,27,301 22,056

1,50,040 4,164

31,60,804 17,761

16,457 131

Karnataka

28,99,195 1,531

22,592 82

28,40,147 1,430

36,456 19

Tamil Nadu

25,53,805 1,756

21,521 667

24,98,289 2,394

33,995 29

Andhra Pradesh

19,59,942 2,010

20,999 34

19,25,631 1,956

13,312 20

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,313 87

768 30

16,84,790 116

22,755 1

West Bengal

15,25,773 815

11,370 10

14,96,294 811

18,109 14

Delhi

14,36,093 67

573 3

14,10,471 61

25,049 3

Chhattisgarh

10,01,651 164

2,226 164

9,85,905 327

13,520 1

Odisha

9,72,517 1,703

15,765 65

9,51,049 1,699

5,703 69

Rajasthan

9,53,605 30

268 10

9,44,384 40

8,953

Gujarat

8,24,802 28

274 11

8,14,452 39

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,778 11

130 8

7,81,135 18

10,513 1

Haryana

7,69,828 32

702 1

7,59,499 28

9,627 3

Bihar

7,24,673 76

480 4

7,14,554 80

9,639

Telangana

6,43,093 657

9,314 77

6,29,986 578

3,793 2

Punjab

5,98,947 65

559 24

5,82,102 84

16,286 5

Assam

5,62,731 1,276

14,499 536

5,43,031 1,791

5,201 21

Jharkhand

3,47,049 27

237 10

3,41,686 36

5,126 1

Uttarakhand

3,41,934 60

672 13

3,33,901 47

7,361

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,026 160

1,139 15

3,15,511 144

4,376 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,05,499 116

953 30

2,01,026 84

3,520 2

Goa

1,70,810 81

1,082 48

1,66,586 127

3,142 2

Puducherry

1,20,627 97

923 0

1,17,912 96

1,792 1

Manipur

95,824 1,003

10,922 120

83,392 871

1,510 12

Tripura

77,788 376

3,861 107

73,177 267

750 2

Meghalaya

63,014 541

5,456 124

56,510 409

1,048 8

Chandigarh

61,943 5

36 1

61,098 6

809

Arunachal Pradesh

47,142 342

4,301 14

42,617 325

224 3

Mizoram

36,407 1,110

11,610 686

24,657 424

140

Nagaland

27,586 114

1,350 34

25,684 78

552 2

Sikkim

25,856 240

3,117 42

22,406 198

333

Ladakh

20,320 6

64 6

20,049 12

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,642 3

41 3

10,597 6

4

Lakshadweep

10,155 6

76 6

10,029 11

50 1

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,531 1

7 5

7,395 6

129

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