GIWAs Swachhata Kranti (Clean Revolution)

Introducing the Swachhata Kranti (Clean Revolution) – The World’s First Faith-Inspired Social Movement for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene. This groundbreaking movement has brought together faith leaders, political figures, social influencers, and celebrities in a united effort. Through grand processions, mass pledges, sanitation and hygiene rallies, and more, this movement has garnered the participation of countless thousands, working towards the noble goal of ensuring universal access to clean, healthy, and sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene as an act of faith.

The Swachhata Kranti

has achieved remarkable success in transforming attitudes and beliefs surrounding defecation and toilets. By challenging existing behaviors and promoting toilet usage over open defecation, this movement has successfully instigated a significant change in people’s behaviors. Together, we are ushering in a new era of improved sanitation practices, creating a healthier and more hygienic environment for all. We are now using the same model of our Swachhta Kranti to end the taboo around menstruation and bring about proper menstrual hygiene awareness and education as a tool to help achieve gender equality.

The facts are shocking

When GIWA began its work in India in 2013, there were approximately 600 million people defecating in the open every day.

According to UNICEF statistics at that time, 1600 children under the age of 5 were dying every day simply due to lack of clean water and proper sanitation and hygiene.

Sadly, much of the reason behind India’s open-defecation crisis was that people, quite simply, didn’t want toilets, due to misunderstandings and a general lack of education.

Change that is visible

GIWA brings action to the ground

The Global Interfaith WASH Alliance feels that nothing short of a behavior-change revolution was required in order to ensure healthy, sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for India’s population.

Our compelling faith-based Swachhta Kranti (Clean Revolution) campaign has been designed to do just that.  The inspirational words of beloved faith leaders have a profound effect on populations. Those who had never dreamed of building and using toilets are being motivated to do so, creating a transformation in communities across the nation.

Those who have participated in our grand processions, mass pledges, sanitation & hygiene rallies have often have become ambassadors for change. , joining us in expanding the Swachhta Kranti campaign amongst their friends, neighbors and others through their own endeavors.

As a result, countless thousands of people have participated in this burgeoning movement to help ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to clean, healthy and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene.Through the Swachh Bharat Mission of the Government of India, of which GIWA’s Swachhata is proud to have been an important part, India is now nearly open-defecation free.

The Swachhta Kranti achieved great success in changing the attitudes and beliefs of people around defecation and toilets so their behaviors would change and they would start using toilets and stop defecating in the open. The initiative also broke a world record for the most signatures on a flag at one such mass event calling to raise the value of the girl child and end child marriage.

We are now using the same model of our Swachhta Kranti to end the taboo around menstruation and bring about proper menstrual hygiene awareness and education and end period poverty.

The Tremendous Force of Inter-Faith Action


According to a study of GIWA’s Swachhta Kranti (Clean Revolution) campaign, an estimated

people were exposed to GIWA’s messages during just the month-long Ujjain Kumbha Mela alone (one of GIWA’s many Swachhta Kranti initiatives)

0 %+

of participants surveyed found GIWA’s messages useful

0 %

of the participants could recall the message (“using toilets is beneficial”) spontaneously

0 %+

could recall the message when aided

There was an increase in the awareness levels of respondents who were exposed to GIWA’s campaign activities versus those who were not exposed.

Participants in educational sessions who didn’t have toilets were more likely to construct a toilet in their household, than those who were not exposed to any activity.

Breaking a World Record for the Girl Child

GIWA is very proud to have partnered with UNICEF India on a beautiful campaign to raise up girls everywhere. Beginning with a massive event in the Kumbha Mela where India’s women leaders, joined and supported by male leaders, inspired the massive crowds to pledge for “shiksha” (education) before “shaadi” (marriage) and to pledge that they would not marry off their young daughters. 

After the launch event, the team took the programme into the streets, villages and towns spreading the messages dynamically far and wide. Hundreds of thousands of signatures were collected, breaking the Guinness World Record for the most signatures on a flag. The flag itself is the size of a football field, and weighs as much as an elephant! 

The signature campaign was held to spread awareness about stopping child marriages. The state of Uttar Pradesh has one of the highest rates of child marriage in India and this record helped the organisers to inspire and mobilize the masses. It was also signed by notable dignitaries, including esteemed faith leaders, Union Cabinet Ministers, Governors entertainers, and more.