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Work Must Continue To End Open Defecation In India, Worldwide

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Realizing Gandhi’s dream — 80 years on, India still strives for perfect sanitation
Anthony Lake, director of UNICEF

“Eighty years ago, Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi, writing of the India he envisioned and dedicated his life to building, mused that an ideal village would be one that enjoyed ‘perfect sanitation.’ It was no idle wish. Gandhi had seen the harms caused by inadequate sanitation and hygiene. … Today, as the nation and indeed, the world, celebrate Gandhi’s birthday, his dream of perfect sanitation for India may be closer to becoming a reality than ever before. … The challenges India still faces to become open-defecation free are substantial. But India is showing that it can be done. And it must. Not only in India, but everywhere that open defecation threatens lives and futures. … That is why the Sustainable Development Goals include a target to end open-defecation everywhere. If we are serious about realizing the promise of the SDGs, we need to work together to realize Gandhi’s dream — for India and for the world” (10/2).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.