NEW DELHI: Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, inaugurated Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention in New Delhi on September 29, 2018. The Convention is being organised by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to mark the beginning of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, also coinciding with the fourth anniversary of the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that improving access to sanitation and eradicating open defecation have enormous implications. They are critical, social and economic investments. The absence of a suitable toilet, appropriate hygiene and sanitation practices can lead to malnutrition and life-long disadvantages. Therefore, for us in India – as elsewhere – a mission such as Swachh Bharat is critical to secure our human capital and our demographic dividend – and to give our children a better future. No young girl should have to give up school only because a girls’ toilet is not available. Such an occurrence would be a scar on our collective conscience.
While addressing the Ministers and delegates from 68 participating countries, President suggested five important themes that countries may choose to adopt while meeting the problem of insufficient sanitation. These are–to ensure people lead the planning, implementation and management of sanitation programmes, use smart and affordable technologies for effective and efficient service delivery, eliminate all forms of inequalities in service delivery, create innovative financing instruments to fund and sustain the sanitation movement, and develop capacities within the government to plan, implement and monitor sanitation programmes.
(With Inputs from PIB)