At the 14th World Toilet Summit (WTS) held in New Delhi from January 19-20, Dr. Kamal Kar, the founder of CLTS Foundation was honoured with the World Toilet Organization (WTO) Hall of Fame Award in recognition of his innovative approach to empowering communities to end open defecation. Dr. Kar pioneered CLTS in Bangladesh in 1999. Since then Dr. Kar introduced and supported government’s scaling up initiative of the approach through training and advocacy in at least 38 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. CLTS has now been implemented in more than 60 countries across the globe. It has been incorporated in the National Sanitation Strategy of at least 22 countries of which 14 are in Africa and the rest in Asia.
Photo (From left to right): Mr. Vijay Chadda,CEO, Bharti Foundation; Mr. Devendra Chaudhry,Special Secretary, Ministry of Power, Dr. Kamal Kar, Founder, CLTS Foundation; Mr. Anuraag Saxena,CEO World Education Foundation and Mr. Jack Sim, Founder, World Toilet Organisation.
Awarded each year, the World Toilet Organization (WTO) Hall of Fame Award recognises the achievements of individuals and organisations that have made significant contributions to the improvement of sanitation for humanity. The other recipients of this year’s awards were: FINISH Society and BRAC. The recipients were presented with the awards by Dr. Subramanian Swamy, Former Indian Cabinet Minister and MP, and Jack Sim, Founder, World Toilet Organization, in the presence of Minister Devendra Chaudhry, Special Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of India.
The World Toilet Summit is a unique global platform that brings together sanitation stakeholders to share, learn and collaborate to address the global sanitation challenge. Each summit aims to address issues of toilets and sanitation including: technology, design and maintenance, finance models, social entrepreneurship, capacity building and other related topics.
Photo: Dr. Kamal Kar introducing CLTS approach to the delegates at the WTS.
In the session on ‘Behavioural Change and Empowerment held on the final day of this year’s summit, Dr. Kar presented the work done by CLTS Foundation. Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) focuses on triggering change in collective hygiene behaviour, which is achieved through a process of community-wide action stimulated by facilitators from within or outside the community. Unlike a lot of other prevalent approaches, CLTS involves no hardware subsidy and does not prescribe latrine models. At the summit Dr. Kar said, “You may be poor, you may not be educated, but you are a human being and no human being wants to live in shit.”
Recently, the CLTS Foundation participated and actively contributed to the CLEANATHON event broadcasted on NDTV. In an exclusive interview with Mr. Vikram Chandra, Executive Director and CEO of NDTV Group and Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, the CLEANATHON ambassador, Dr. Kar congratulated the government on prioritising the sanitation needs of the country. He drew attention to the lessons learnt from other developing countries of the world where the CLTS is being implemented.