Merino Restroom Solutions, one of the pioneers in restroom cubicle solutions in India participated in The World Toilet Summit, 2018.
The Summit, this year has come to India for the third time, with the theme 'Can the world be ODF by 2030', in support to the Government's Swachh Bharat Mission.
The Summit was supported by Government of Maharashtra, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, who shared his thoughts through a video message.
In his address, Fadnavis said: "It gives me immense pleasure to share that now Maharashtra has become 100 per cent open defecation free (ODF), 55 per cent of which has been covered since 2014. After becoming ODF, we have given plans of sustainability to every Village Panchayat, encouraging them by presenting awards every year, even kids engaged themselves in awareness drive. We also did a lot of work on clean water and all this lead to the creation of jobs, economic development. Now, rural area is witnessing major transformation with this and many other initiatives."
"I am happy to see the efforts by World Toilet Organisation and their partners in taking necessary steps to achieve ODF status. I am sure with the given pace; we will make ODF India by 2019, as planned by Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi," he added.
Speaking on the "Sanitation and Evolving needs of Urban Public Toilets" Madhusudan Lohia, Director, Merino Restrooms said: "The government's Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission, launched in October 2014, increased the country's sanitation coverage from 39 percent to 65 percent by November 2017. In this period, 52 million household toilets were built in rural India. According to the Economic Survey 2017-18, sanitation coverage in rural India has increased substantially from 39 per cent in 2014 to 76 per cent in January 2018. The number of persons defecating in the open in rural areas, which were 55 crores in October 2014, has declined to 25 crores by January 2018.
Also, 296 districts and 3,07,349 villages all over India have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) so far. Eight states and two Union Territories, which include Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Daman and Diu, and Chandigarh, have been declared ODF completely."
Jack Sim, Founder, World Toilet Organisation, while sharing his thoughts said: "The problem of open defecation is not only restricted to India. Not only it has taken the lives of many, but it has also impacted the honour as well. Hence, it is important for everyone to work unanimously and contribute to achieving the 100 per cent open defecation free. We believe in the necessity of a comprehensive behavioural change strategy to focus on bringing the change in the mindset of people and also provide a sustainable solution for easy access. We are certain that the summit successfully conveyed a strong message to address current sanitation challenges in India and the world."
This Summit attracted over 300 International and National and global experts from water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) sector, including delegates from leading corporate houses, government agencies, ULB's, NGOs and social business delegates. It comprised of interactive sessions with keynote speakers, panel discussions, awards, and exhibitors. This summit proposed to create a base for the establishment of multi-sectoral partnerships, leveraging on local as well as international movements which will be supportive to the Swachh Bharat Mission.
India, the world's second-largest country by population, has the highest number of people (732 million) without access to toilets, according to a new report. The report by Water Aid, titled 'Out of Order: The State of the World's Toilets 2017' further stated that 355 million women and girls lack access to a toilet.
Speaking at the event, Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar said: "I am pleased to see more and more people joining the movement that our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, started four years ago. We have seen a major transformation taking place in India owing to the Swachh Bharat Mission. I am proud to associate with this mission in spreading the message of cleanliness and sanitation across the country. But we still have a long road ahead of us and I urge everyone to contribute at their individual level to sensitise people about the consequences of open defecation and the importance of clean toilets."
Merino Restrooms aims to provide clean and elegant urban restroom solutions which are thoughtfully designed based on intrinsic needs and challenges of various user demographics. Merino Restrooms carries the legacy of the parent group which is built on the steady pillars of a globally relevant mission, a far-reaching vision of attaining Economy and Excellence based on Ethics. Merino Restroom solutions have been installed at various iconic places in India like newly erected Statue of Unity, Supreme Court, Chattarpati Shivaji International Airport, ITC Greens, Wipro, Microsoft, Flipkart, and DLF Mall of India to count a few.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)