Yes, I am referring to the human excrement. In popular culture, we refer to this as dump, shit, poop, #2 (In my part of the world it is gestured with the Index and Middle Finger, held slightly apart)
You probably know the stats – 2.6 Billion people in this world have no access to sanitation, a child dies every 20 secs because of diarrheal-related disease, India has more cellphones than toilets yadayadayada.
But what gets lost in the myriad of facts is the discomfort, disease and loss of dignity suffered by these people. Imagine losing a loved one to diarrhea or your sibling/daughter exposed herself to the danger of an assault every time she has to “go to the bush". Imagine getting your water from a river where other people relieve themselves.
Yes, it’s crude. It’s gross. It’s unimaginable that I am thinking this out loud. But it’s also unimaginable that lack of access to toilets result in more no. of deaths every year than all forms of violence combined (including wars).
And why make noise now? Because Nov 19th is World Toilet Day, a day to stand up for these millions (atleast 1 day)
1) We started this campaign www.milaap.org/wtd last night as a call to action - to make 10,000 individuals aware of this crisis and pledge their support to end this discrimination in our lifetime.
2) We partnered with the champions working in the sector: GUARDIAN MFI, World Toilet Organisation to get their inputs.
3) And like any other shameless, unpretentious causes campaign we set ourselves a real challenge (read financial target/metric) so that we don’t lose steam midway through our efforts to do good. Thanks to NUS Enterprise!
The challenge is "If we get 10,000 people to join our campaign on Facebook / Twitter (likes/follows) before 26th November 2010 2359 EST, we’ll receive $2500 from NUS Enterprise as a grant. 100% of the grant shall go towards a pilot program to provide "MICROLOANS" for safe sanitation in Trichy, India" You can read about our field partner and our prior due-diligence work here http://bit.ly/guardianmfi
We are about to reach 800 and still a long way to go. But we know we’ll get there, just in time, thanks to you.
So, do take out some 15 - 20 mins of your schedule, read about our efforts and EVANGELISE this campaign to your friends/colleagues/network.
Invite your friends to the Fb page, Tag people in this note, Donate your status message, Tweet/blog about this, email them, give them my contact details and ask them to shoot me with tricky qns. Just do whatever it takes!
The $2.5K grant is just a carrot, the real success lies in getting 10,000 ppl believe in the same cause that you and I do.
Yes, Sh!t happens every day… but you know what, we can help change it, this World Toilet Day - www.milaap.org/wtd
Like a friend of mine who commented on one of my status messages –