India will be a clean and Open Defecation Free (ODF) country by 2nd October, 2019. Over 50 countries around the world will be taking part in a four-day international meeting to learn about the best Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practices across the globe, said the UNICEF.
The upcoming international meeting goes with the name Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention (MGISC) organised by India's Swachh Bharat Mission, will be held from September 29 to October 2, attended by ministers and other leaders from 50 countries-- Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, Japan and others.
‘Safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene are important to the health of every child and every community. Therefore, they are essential to building stronger, healthier and more equitable societies.’
Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Secretary Parameswaran Iyer said that Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) aims to build a clean and Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by October 2 2019, as a befitting tribute to the 150 birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
"Safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene are critical to the health of every child and every community - and thus are essential to building stronger, healthier, and more equitable societies " UNICEF India representative Yasmin Ali Haque, said.
UNICEF said that women are the worst affected due to lack of sanitation facilities. India is on track to achieve open defecation free status by 2019, significantly contributing to the global achievement, it added.