UN chief Ban Ki-moon has lauded efforts of four social activists including an Indian for their leadership and fresh thinking, and working towards improving sanitation facilities. K C Mishra, 56, Co-founder of Svadha Sanitation Social Business in India, was among individuals featured in a documentary for their work in eradicating poverty and ensuring sustainable development. "I know their leadership and fresh thinking on tackling real-world problems will inspire us all," UN Secretary-General Ban said in his address, as he welcomed Mishra and other activists. Mishra participated in a panel discussion here yesterday at an integration segment of the UN Economic and Social Council along with social activists from Estonia, Costa Rica and Uganda. During a panel discussion, Mishra said it was critical to collaborate with different sectors of society to address sustainability and lack of resources.
There was enormous space and demand in India to create businesses that not only addressed the problem of sanitation but also the challenges of implementation. Mishra said that in India, there was an opportunity to reach millions of people at the local level and the challenge was not just to build the toilet, but also to motivate people to use it. "Being poor does not mean that I do not have any choice in life," Mishra said, highlighting that many people were engaged in the process of actually installing the toilet and encouraging others in the community to use them.