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Akshay Kumar extends sanitation drive by associating with Swachh Bharat Mission

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MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar has joined hands with Indian government’s cleanliness initiative Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) and launched a new campaign.

The campaign was launched at a Collectors Convention for Toilet Technology organised in Delhi and focuses on promoting the twin pit toilet technology in rural India, and also features actor Bhumi Pednekar along with Kumar.

In his welcome address, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation secretary Parameswaran Iyer spoke about the contribution made by Kumar to the Swachh Bharat Mission. He said that right from his movie, Toilet Ek Prem Katha, which was seen and appreciated by rural and urban people across the country, to his participation in the twin pit toilet advertisement campaign for the Swachh Bharat Mission, Kumar has been a strong supporter of the sanitation movement underway in the country.

Kumar interacted with Swachh Bharat Mission officials, district collectors, communication experts and members from the media on the occasion. During his interaction, he spoke about the need for influencers of society to talk freely about toilets, and empty toilet pits around the country to destigmatise cleaning of one’s own toilet by members of the family itself.

The district collectors and field officials, during the interaction, spoke about the power of women in leading the sanitation mission in rural areas, and the role played by the movie, in leading this behaviour change. It was also announced by the ministry of drinking water and sanitation on this occasion that the producers of Toilet Ek Prem Katha have given rights to all state and district teams of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) to screen the movie in villages on a non-commercial basis.

The twin pit toilet technology was invented in India and is the most well-suited toilet technology for rural India, and is recommended by Government of India and the World Health Organisation. It is scientifically proven that a pit in a standard twin-pit toilet model fills up in roughly five years for a 6-membered family.

The states are continuously encouraged by the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) to include awareness generation about the above facts as part of their grassroots information, education and communication (IEC) efforts.

The advertisement campaign launched is an effort, supported by the World Bank, towards encouraging this technology using mass media.

The advertisement will be translated in several regional languages including Hindi on television channels.

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