Published: 22nd August 2018
Toilet Man Jack Sim is all set to open another World Toilet College in India
The World Toilet College's Second World Toilet College in India will be in association with Reckitt Benckiser in Aurangabad
Did you know that open defecation causes contamination of water sources due to poor sewage filters that lead to illnesses including diarrhea, which kills over 2.3 million children in India every year? We're not making this up, but this is what a recent report by the WHO tells us. This one fact roughly gives us an idea of how bad the sanitation issue in our country is. But we can't give up hope that things will fall in place, can we? At least now that the World Toilet Organization's World Toilet College has opened in India.
The World Toilet Organization is a global non-profit organisation that works towards eliminating all the taboos associated with toilets and delivering sustainable sanitation solutions worldwide. It is also the organiser of the World Toilet Summit, the Urgent Run and had initiated the United Nations World Toilet Day. On August 18, they laid down the foundation for the Harpic World Toilet College along with Reckitt Benckiser, in Aurangabad. This is India's second World Toilet College.
"There are an estimated 2.5 billion people globally who live without access to proper sanitation. If you solve the India problem, then you solve 60 percent of the world’s sanitation problem. We must ensure after the toilets are built, it'll be used as toilets, cleaned and maintained, sludge treated and emptied and recycled without polluting the environment," says Jack Sim, the founder of World Toilet Organization.
World Toilet College aims to capacitate the sanitation worker community to access their rights and entitlement and move towards a discrimination-free, secure livelihood for self-reliance
Narasimhan Eswar, Senior Vice President, South Asia-RB Home Hygiene
While Sim doesn't forget to praise the Indian government for its Swacch Bharat mission, he doesn't fail to observe that the mission will become a success only when the people would want to use the toilets, clean it, maintain it, empty it, treat and recycle the waste, "To achieve that, we need to train cleaners and maintenance sanitation workers to become skilled professionals. We've already trained 7000 skilled workers now. We hope to train 5000 more in the next 12 months, through our second college," he adds.
In the past 16-year-long journey to improve the health and hygiene scenario all over the world, Sim says that he has noticed that the state of sanitation workers is a complete blind spot in every country that he has worked in. "They face significant challenges on multiple fronts, be it financial, safety, health or social. Social barriers and lack of technological substitutes and training continue to be key drivers of the problem and all existing measures have failed to address the entire system and the situation," he says. The curriculum for the Harpic World College Toilet will cover subjects around acceptance of toilets, cleaning methods, capacity development and more. "The vocational training programme will provide them access to use ICT and in-person tools, ranging from technical training to soft skills to career counseling," adds Sim.
He also tells us that through the initiative, he and his team want to make sure that the sanitation workers all around the world improve their skills and take more pride in their profession. "We want people to remember that their lives are enhanced by these skilled workers keeping your toilets clean and keeping you healthy," he concludes.