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India's Mr. Poo Health Campaign

Updated on April 11, 2014
Poo mascot?
Poo mascot?
Take your photo next to Mr. Poo
Take your photo next to Mr. Poo
The Poo App
The Poo App
Poo ad
Poo ad

Do you see the a connection between a toilet and poor health? Well, in India, this connection seems to have never been connected. Actually, the 620 million there who defecate outside in semi-public areas or the 70% of rural indians who do not use a toilet to go poo in, or, if you prefer, No.2, never were connected. But that is not all that is most disturbing to what we think India is, a modern society, some 29 million school children that attend schools have absolutely no place to do it when nature calls. Many schools there have no restrooms! OMG. What does the school do then? I guess the kids just find a place to take the dump or pee.

According to Unicef, whether it is urban or rural, poo is everywhere in India-playgrounds, outside offices. "Look before you step" applies in this country. To change this custom and just gross bad health habit, Unicef has launched the Mr. Poo campaign. Since more than 50% of all Indians do not use a toilet, it becomes a smelly thing to sell. While the campaign encourages the use of a toilet (duh!), there is a data side to it as well. Apps for cell phones allow for a person to tell the location of where feces exist on an overlaid map of many cities. This is so you will not step into it. I am not kidding.

Some agencies in India claim the campaign is demeaning for the poor. But, the campaign is complete with youtube videos and a catchy jingle to encourage Indians to use a toilet instead of watering plants or providing natural fertilizer. Open defecation is a health hazard to such diseases as polio, giardiasis, hepatitus A, and infectious diarrhea. A quarter of all children who died in 2012 world-wide were kids in India. Germs from defecation can stunt growth.

In 1990, about 75% of Indians still did not use a toilet to defecate in. I know, this is astounding in a modern world. Bangladesh has nearly completed the campaign and only 10% still do not use a toilet. Although, India has many seemingly modern cities, there is a serious lack of restrooms for one to use. To help change a long custom of pooing outside, many ads appeal to Indians about how their monuments should be kept clean, appealing to national pride.

Whether Unicef's Poo campaign will change the customs and habits used by Indians for eons is a question mark. But as the lyrics state, "We've got to take the poo to the loo, if that's what you got to do".

Okay, time to cross India off my list to visit.

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    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      4 years ago

      Thanks Ravi, old habits and customs do take considerable time to remove, but Bangladesh seems to have done it more quickly, of course, the populations are very different in size.

    • ravi1991 profile image

      Ashutosh Tiwari 

      4 years ago from Lucknow, India

      @perrya

      Well the first paragraph of my previous comment is pertinent to your curiosity-- though somewhat broad and seeming unrelated.

      And the second reason for it. The poverty and illiteracy-- resulted due to British imperialism-- are causes which had and continue to beget such an attitude(Lack of sanitation and hygiene). And the ones who are literate just get infected with same detrimental attitude that remains prevalent!!

      Yes, you may definitely claim the 66 years which India passed as an Independent country-- but still it could not get rid of those two causes--but that is definitely due to the combined connivance of Indian Public and Indian Governments.

      The rest paragraphs might be well clear and lucid to you.

      Wishes

    • csmiravite-blogs profile image

      Consolacion Miravite 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      Both my parents took Post Graduate Studies at Shantinikitan College in the 1950's and they never mentioned that kind of problem to us. I was even conceived in Nepal and had I been a boy, I would have been named --- Patanjali. The government has to do something to erase this bad image of India asap. The big POO looks horrible and must be change!

    • ravi1991 profile image

      Ashutosh Tiwari 

      4 years ago from Lucknow, India

      @perrya

      The trouble with Indians(I am an Indian) is that they have almost lost their pride. They have become narrow minded and really cannot adhere to the moral codes and standards.

      But believe me that comes from the strange background they have. With the British colonization things began to change and an affluent India was left poorest when they departed.

      Things will change, remember gradual change is always a lasting one.

      Finally, I as an Indian, invite you visit a country which has seen the days-- throughout it`s history-- which no country has seen.

      I invite you to visit a country which has produced Mahatma Gandhi-- he has no equivalent in the world history.

      I invite you to visit a country which can chill you with European climate and at the same time can give you pleasure of romping the deserts, it can give you the heavy rain forests like tropics and also give you beaches-- which are best in the world.

      I invite you in a country-- which has 29 states-- but each state will greet you with it`s own culture, geography, history as if it is a country in whole.

      In India there are many problems but there are many advantages too. You need to come and correctly judge the country.

      Wishes and Regards

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      4 years ago

      Like you, I had no idea it was like this. It would be great to hear someone from there.

    • csmiravite-blogs profile image

      Consolacion Miravite 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      I never knew this to be a big thing in India. First time for me to hear about this type of campaign.

    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 

      4 years ago from Auburn, WA

      There's so many puns here, I don't know where to begin. So I'll skip it. Anyway, wow. I knew there was a reason that I never wanted to go to India. What is up w/that? Crazy. So much great talent comes out of India, I'm astonished as to why these conditions still exist. Good job pointing out.

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