India’s Toilet Garden aims to promote sanitation

6th of February 2018
India’s Toilet Garden aims to promote sanitation

A toilet-themed café-garden in India aims to promote universal sanitation and create awareness of the need for personal hygiene.

People using the Toilet Garden in Ahmedabad are invited to sit on a commode or latrine and enjoy a cup of coffee while reading inspirational quotes and anecdotes related to sanitation on the walls. These include thought-provoking sayings such as: "Poverty is no bar to sanitation".

Instead of having to pay, each visitor receives two rupees for their contribution towards promoting sanitation.

According to a study carried out in 2015 more than half the rural population of India still defecates in the open, which is said to be a major public health and sanitation problem.

Mahatma Gandhi wanted to make sanitation a priority for India more than a century ago, claiming sanitation to be more important than political independence and stating that every lavatory should be "as clean as a drawing-room".

Prime minister Narendra Modi recently launched a nationwide cleanliness drive to clean up India by October 2 2019 - the 150th anniversary of Gandhi's birth. Besides building more toilets, the government also aims to bring about the necessary behavioural change regarding open defecation.

The Toilet Garden's café, which accommodates up to 30 people, is staffed by volunteers and open to the public twice a week.



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