World Toilet College
When Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) was founded in 2013, only 38.7% of rural India had toilet facilities. India was leading the world in number of diarrheal deaths with approximately 1,600 children dying every day due to lack of improved access to WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) resources, and nearly 600 million people were defecating in the open every day. The Swachh Bharat Mission implemented by the Government of India from 2014 to 2019 was spectacularly successful in ending open defecation in India. Parmarth Niketan contributed to this outcome through mass awareness and behavior change campaigns.
The GIWA project led a clean water pilgrimage, in partnership with the state government, which inspired more than 400,000 people in over 240 Villages to use toilets. In partnership with UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Reckitt Benckiser, WSSCC (now SHF), WASH United, The WASH Institute and others, Parmarth Niketan's GIWA initiative hosted massive behavior change campaigns and mass awareness programs at the Kumbha Melas in Nasik (2015), Ujjain (2016) and Allahabad / Prayag Raj (2019). An estimated 1,747,800 people were exposed to GIWA's messages during just the month-long Ujjain Kumbha Mela alone. Today, sanitation coverage across rural India stands at 93%, with over 80 million toilets constructed.