World Toilet Day: Date, Theme, History, Significance And All You Need To Know

World Toilet Day, celebrated on November 19 annually, aims to help break taboos around toilets and make sanitation for all a global development priority.

According to the United Nations, today, 3.5 billion people live without access to safely managed sanitation and around 1,000 children under five die every day from diseases caused by unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene.

World Toilet Day 2023: Theme

The hummingbird is the symbol of World Toilet Day and World Water Day 2023. In the ancient story, a hummingbird does what she can to fight a great fire – carrying droplets of water in her beak. Her actions – even though small – are helping solve a big problem.

This year’s theme is ‘Accelerating Change’, using the hummingbird to inspire people to take personal action to help improve toilets and sanitation systems.

“Right now, we are seriously off track to meet Sustainable Development Goal 6: safe toilets and water for all by 2030. Governments and institutions must be accountable for delivering on their promises. And every one of us must do what we can to help speed up progress,” the United Nations said.

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World Toilet Day 2023: History

The resolution declaring the Day titled “Sanitation for All” (A/RES/67/291) was adopted on 24 July, 2013, and urged UN Member States and relevant stakeholders to encourage behavioural change and the implementation of policies to increase access to sanitation among the poor, along with a call to end the practice of open-air defecation, which it deemed extremely harmful to public health.

Sanitation is also a question of basic dignity and women safety, who should not risk being victims of rape and abuse because of lack of access to a toilet that offers privacy.

World Toilet Day 2023: Significance

The main aim of this day is to create awareness and socially responsible individuals that prioritize sanitation. Water and sanitation are primary responsibilities and rights of people worldwide.

This UN initiative is to ensure every individual has access to clean water and hygienic surroundings including clean toilets. Governments across the globe have run campaigns for clean and sanitized toilets to improve sanitation practices.

This day is significant for India as the toilets were the centre piece of India’s Swachhata movement that addressed myriad sanitation and hygiene concerns.

World Toilet Day 2023: Messages

  1. With just seven years left, the world has to work, on average, five times faster to meet the sanitation target of SDG 6 – safe toilets and water for all by 2030 – on time.

  2. Sanitation and drinking water are human rights, and access to these services is critical to people’s health and the integrity of the environment.

  3. Over 7,000 people have already committed to take water and sanitation-related actions to help accelerate change towards SDG 6.

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