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All India Convention on “Right to Sanitation” on 24th and 25th March, New Delhi

 
Dear Friends,
We, in the Right to Sanitation (RtS) Campaign in India, are happy to invite you to participate in the All India Convention on “Right to Sanitation” and provide your valuable insights on the issue. The convention is being organized on 24th and 25th March, 2014, at Speaker’s Hall, Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi.

During the last one year, the RtS Campaign in India has emerged as a common platform of organizations and individuals sharing a common dream of an India having hygienic sanitation for all its people without any discrimination or exclusion.
 
Though this subject has been generally overlooked in most development and human rights debates, the sanitation crisis in India is more than an emergency. About 57 per cent (626 million) of the 1.1 billion people in the world who practice open defecation are found in India. According to Census 2011, the national sanitation coverage is 46.9% whereas rural sanitation coverage is just 30.7%. For the marginalised, like the rural Dalits (23%) and rural Adivasis (16%), the figures are much lower. Out of 6 million villages in the country, only 25,000 (only 4%) are said to be free from the practice of open defecation (Nirmal Gram villages).
 
The Government’s own census report of 2011 admits that 22.39% (or over 3.75 crores) of toilets allegedly built through various government schemes at individual household levels are missing, i.e. they do not exist in actuality. Another report points out the disparities of sanitation coverage among different wealth quintiles. The poorest 40% of the population have barely benefited from gains in sanitation and the poor people are over 13 times less likely to have access to sanitation than rich people. Sanitation& hygiene directly affect the health, economy, education and general well‐being of a nation. Persons with disability, women, girls and socially excluded communities such as Dalits, Adivasis and minorities are the worst sufferers of this neglect too.
 
As India goes into electing its new parliament and its new leaders in the near future and the people in India are discussing its great democracy, the RtS Campaign in India invites you to discuss the sanitation crisis and the need to recognize sanitation as a basic human and democratic right needing a clear constitutional mandate to become a legally enforceable right. All political parties and their candidates need to take a clear stand on “Right to Sanitation” and social organizations and individuals need to strengthen the peoples’ voices for it.
 
The RtS campaign has prepared a draft position paper on ‘Right to Sanitation’.
 
The convention is being organised with limited financial resources and we would very much like if you can take care of your travel costs and accommodation. In case you need any support please let us know.
 
The Camping would be able to provide travel support and modest accommodation to a small number of participants on a first‐come‐first ‐served basis. Kindly confirm your participation at the earliest to help us in arranging the logistics.

We look forward to your participation in the convention.
In solidarity,
On behalf of RtS Campaign in India
National Campaign Coordination Team (NCCT‐RtS) Rajesh Upadhyay (09871484549 – NACDOR, Delhi)/Murali (09849649051 – FANSA ‐ AP)/Mamata (09717894445 – WaterAid India, Delhi), / Rahima (09830646876– NSKKK, West Bengal) / Nafisa (09825326809 – Utthan, Gujrat)/ Ashif (98264 23634 – Jansahas, M P)/ Sanjay (9431103041 – AIFFM,
Jharkhand)/ Edwin (09448133665 – Open Space, Karnataka)/Alka (9839369393 – Journalist, U P)/Krishnan (9843494005)/ Joy (9422505473 – Forum, Maharashtra )
Email: right2sanitation.india@gmail.com; r2s.delhi@gmail.com;
See the invitation and schedule here.