The role of the World Toilet Organization, WTO, is one of advocacy and capacity building; it facilitates the sharing of technologies, financing and social movements. Here are some of WTO’s key milestones in India.
2007: World Toilet Organization, WTO, organised its first World Toilet Summit, in New Delhi. It was hosted by Sulabh International and chaired by President A P J Abdul Kalam and Prince of Orange Willem-Alexander (now King of The Netherlands). At that time toilets and sanitation were taboo subjects, and having these two top leaders endorsing WTO’s agenda gave its work legitimacy and a great legacy. Six Indian ministers also participated in that meeting. Union Minister Jairam Ramesh started the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan.
2013: WTO’s founding day 19 November was unanimously adopted by UN General Assembly as the official UN World Toilet Day. This was endorsed by India as well.
2014: Philanthropist Bill Gates launched the Reinventing Toilet Fair in India. Prime Minister Modi launched the biggest toilet construction programme of 110 million toilets for Swachh Bharat.
2015: WTO hosted World Toilet Summit at New Delhi under the auspices of Ministry of Urban Development.
2016: Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu appointed Jack Sim as Co-convener of Swachh Andhra. WTO created the partnership of Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) and Reckitt Benckiser for setting up World Toilet College in Rishikesh.
Read: Make Them Emotional About Toilets, says Jack Sim
2018: WTO’s engagement in India with GIWA and Reckitt Benckiser led to the setting up of World Toilet College in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. In November, World Toilet Summit came to Mumbai with an agenda to build one World Toilet College in every state of India.