Tackling India’s sanitation crisis
The World Toilet College is serving to usher forth fascinating discussions covering the gamut of sanitation discourse.
Located within the large campus of GIWA’s Secretariat, the World Toilet College was launched in 2015 in partnership between GIWA, the World Toilet Organization and Reckitt Benckiser. Today, it is providing the knowledge and skills necessary towards directly addressing India’s pressing sanitation needs as well as empowering women for menstrual health and hygiene. The World Toilet College was the first of its kind in the world to be inaugurated within the premises of a spiritual institution.
It is a primary goal of the World Toilet College to provide gateways towards employing the world’s most innovative tools, techniques and technologies towards achieving our mission to inspire, inform and engage the people of India across multiple sectors for a healthy, clean India. Since its founding only a few years ago, more than 5000 people have been directly received formal training in Uttarakhand, Bihar and other states, by our professional educators to become community leaders and changemakers for improved WASH, ending open defecation and bringing about a truly Clean India.
In just the year 2021-2022, even with Covid restrictions, approximately 1000 Sanitation workers were trained regarding Sanitation and Hygiene, especially, but not exclusively, related to the transmission of the virus.
Background to the World Toilet College
Over the years, despite massive investments by local governments and others, India’s sanitation crisis remained alive, with nearly half the population heeding the call of nature in the open. Now, its historic Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission has brought renewed hope and powerful solutions for the nation, enabling challenges to be addressed and eradicated as never before, currently the rate of open defecation in India has lowered to approximately 15% and 40% of villages now report as being open defecation free as of 2023 .
Certainly the lack of toilets is one of the key issues why this problem hasn’t been resolved overnight. However, where there are toilets, the absence of their proper cleaning and maintenance has proven that the provision of hardware alone is not a sustainable solution. At the same time, in many instances, the use of public and household toilets–regardless of their newness or cleanliness–is simply not accepted by communities that are reluctant to change age-old patterns of relieving themselves in the outdoors. All the while, India is plagued by the additional public health concerns that include policy challenges, the lack of hygiene awareness and the lack of access to clean and sustainable water.
Classes and Workshops
Through its many classes and workshops, the World Toilet College is serving to usher forth fascinating discussions covering the gamut of sanitation discourse: from hands-on evaluations of natural and conventional toilet and sewage management systems, to low-to-high-tech cleaning methods, to the latest findings in behavior change communications, community triggering, and beyond.