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World Toilet Day At Children's Park Sulabh Toilet, Panaji 19th November 2022

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Huddle For World Toilet Day where our community came together to #PlayAPart for better toilets for All

It all started on 5th of November with a thought of whether we can explore celebrating the World Toilet Day in Panaji. Subbu who is leading the People for Panjim Parks initiative, being a very experienced public health professional, was very supportive of the idea and we visited two Sulabh Toilet complexes on 7th November for a recce to understand what can be done. Spoke to the caretaker there, got contact details of supervisors, other officials.

We then reached out to more individuals and organizations in this field and got very encouraging vibes from Vikas Kulkarni from Voluntary Health Association of Goa. Vinit Kundaikar of Disha Foundation was also game to be part of this.

Initially when we spoke to the caretakers and the officials, we were not taken very seriously as they did not know us and maybe there was a lack of trust.

Once we visited multiple times and also announced that we are going to celebrate World Toilet Day at the Sulabh Complex opposite Inox, we got good support from the Sulabh International Officials.

They immediately sprung into action and within a week or so, got a lot of improvements in terms of plastering, painting, varnishing, changing of signages, faucets, clearing of unwanted plant growth etc done.

Some Before After Photographs courtesy Subbu where we can see a lot of improvement in a very short time.

We approached the Health Department if they could depute anyone from their side for a talk on awareness about toilets and they immediately agreed.

After a lot of planning ,follow-ups and frequent visits, we got finally ready for the World Toilet Day today and what an experience it was.

  1. Subbu explained the thought process behind this Huddle and how it was important to recognize the efforts of those who clean our toilets

  2. Dr Asmita from the Department of Health, spoke about how it is the responsibility of every citizen to ensure, we use the toilet responsibly and throw dry waste, sanitary pads etc into a dustbin/garbage bin.

  3. Vinit Kundaikar of Disha Foundation explained about the various schemes of financial and social security that are available for the informal sector in terms of pension, life insurance etc.

  4. Vikas Kulkarni from Voluntary Health Association of Goa spoke about how it is important that the health of the sanitation workers is important and they should be trained to use gloves, shoes etc to protect themselves from infections.

  5. Mr Brajesh from Sulabh International explained about how Sulabh started and how things have improved over the last 50 years. He explained that while there have been so much developments, there is still some more work that needs to be done in terms of mindset change. He thanked all those gathered for the warm gesture and promised all support possible.

  6. Aditiya from Ayya Waste Management expressed ideas on how those working in sanitation could be upskilled for additional income. The team from Ayya also supported the event by doing a cleanup of the area ,the evening before the Huddle.

  7. Nikita from Goa Livehihoods forum appealed to the sanitation workers to take care of their health and made us all imagine, how the situation would be if there were no public toilets and how a mess it would have been, people relieving everywhere. She also gave an interesting insights about the third gender and how we should also care about basic rights for the LGBTQ community.

  8. Apoorva conducted a very interesting quiz based on the theme of Toilets which got us all thinking and appreciation various ideas, individuals and institutions like Jaison Taps, Orissa Pan, International Toilet Museum etc.

  9. Planning for better toilets and how we can take the movement forward was discussed over a very tasty breakfast at Ishna sponsored by Voluntary Health Association of Goa.

Here are some photographs of the various activities conducted at the Huddle

Apoorva conducting the Quiz and Subbu felicitating the Sulabh Officials and sanitation workers.

Dr Asmita explaining importance of Public Toilets and Vinit explaining about schemes for informal sector

Vikas appealing for better training to sanitation workers, Nikita and Aditiya applauding their efforts

We have finalized on two short term action plans to take this forward.

  • To make a list of 10 toilets in Panaji that need action and meet every month to take stock of the action points

  • Health Camp for sanitation workers on 19th December 2022.

We thank all those who made it for supporting this initiative. To #PlayYourPart for this initiative, please reach out to us.

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