Tuesday saw the 6th anniversary of “World Toilet Day” and the theme this year is “'Leaving No One Behind.”
“Sanitation is your human right and yet, today, 4.2 billion people live without safely managed sanitation. We must expand access to safe toilets,” the UN wrote in a blog post, explaining the theme.
According to UN statistics, over 637 million people still defecate in the open.
Nearly 297,000 minors succumb to fatal diseases and lose their lives because of improper sanitation and hand hygiene facilities.
In fact, 1.25 billion women and girls still do not have access to hygienic and private toilets.
1.25 billion women and girls don't have access to a safe, private toilet 🚽— UN Women (@UN_Women) November 19, 2019
This affects how women and girls are able to manage their periods. https://t.co/qSm2LAINRR #WorldToiletDay pic.twitter.com/Srn2atssKv
“Toilets save lives, because human waste spreads killer diseases. ‘World Toilet Day’ is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis,” the UN’s post said.
The UN aims to provide sanitation for all by 2030.
Netizens also marked the day on social networking platforms with a trending hashtag #WorldToiletDay which has already received over 173,000 mentions.
No to open defecation #WorldToiletDay— EKITIKAN (@perogunner) November 19, 2019
Every house, market places and Farms and so on deserve a toilet, because access to a safe functioning toilet has a positive impact on public health, human dignity, and personal safety.... pic.twitter.com/TsijaCLvj5
The World Toilet Day exists to Inform, Engage & Inspire people to act to tackle the global Sanitation crisis...and the Social, Economic & Environmental consequences of inaction!!#WorldToiletDay #SanitationForAll pic.twitter.com/neMmMbzaOw— Bhavik Gupta (@bhavik_gupta) November 19, 2019
Indian politicians including Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and the Chief Minister of West Bengal state Mamata Banerjee also addressed the day and urged people to pledge their contribution towards making India free of open-sanitation.
On #WorldToiletDay today, let us pledge to eradicate the menace of open defecation. Our Govt in #Bangla’s flagship programme, #MissionNirmalBangla, has been very successful. 1.35 crore households have been covered under this programme. Rural Bengal is now open defecation free.— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 19, 2019
A Paradigm Shift in Railways: To ensure hygienic & sanitary conditions for passengers and cleaner tracks, Railways is installing eco-friendly bio-toilets in trains.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) November 19, 2019
Last week, 802 Bio-toilets were fitted, raising the total number to 2,30,968 in 65,072 coaches. #WorldToiletDay pic.twitter.com/Cfvri3nXQ0
Earlier in October, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi said that under the “Swachh Bharat” (Clean India) mission, the open-defecation issue had almost been solved.