Open defecation presents an acute public health problem in the country. Globally India has the largest number of people – 620 million defecating in the open, posing a serious health issue that needed to be addressed. In an effort to discourage open defecation, Unicef India has launched a campaign called ‘Take Poo To the Loo’ where the idea is to create awareness among the youth, who will then reach out and spread the message of the harmful effects of open defecation.
UNICEF India has tied up with many partners like NGO Protsahan, toilet cleaner brand Domex and Indian Institute of Technology for the campaign. While the NGO will conduct workshops with children, Domex will contribute with a part of its sales and IIT will reach out to students to promote sanitation technology options. ‘Take Poo To the Loo‘ is a three-month digital campaign that will be extended to on-ground activations across Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune, reports AFAQS.
Take Poo To the Loo
The campaign on digital has a centralized website aided with social media presences on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. As can be seen, that is Mr. Poo set about to create havoc in the city and has brought the entire city to a standstill. The website with graphic city drawings is an interactive one.
One can pull the flush on the top right corner. This will lead to a pledge requesting the President of India to ensure a poo-free country. ‘About the campaign’ opens up a window where one can take the pledge and also be able to donate to the cause. Additionally, it also states facts and statistics on the seriousness of the issue - apart from posing a very high risk of microbial contamination (bacteria, viruses, amoeba) of water which causes diarrhoea in children, it has far reaching effects on education too; adoloscent girls drop out of schools for lack of a toilet.
One can know more updates by clicking the ‘feature stories’ under media. In addition, the website also features social sharing buttons by which one can share about the initiative with their friends and family. In a nutshell, ‘Take Poo To the Loo’ website provides all the campaign related information to a visitor who is then called upon to take a pledge, donate to the cause, make oneself aware about the threats of open defecation and share it with their networks.
Take Poo To the Loo on social
The idea of the social presence is to drive people to the website and add to the pledges. Launched this month, the brand new Facebook page has garnered more than 3K fans. The wall has been urging fans to take the pledge and visit the site with interesting visuals like this:
Additionally, as per the press release, the campaign will engage fans with poo games on Facebook, wherein Mr.Poo will be seen creating havoc in markets, colleges and other places, and the player has to pick it up and put it in the toilet.
The Twitter page with more than 300 followers has also been spreading about the initiative, and inviting people to take the pledge. Most of the tweets are the same as the Facebook updates though. Besides, both the social networks have been sharing a video from the campaign’s YouTube channel.
The YouTube video called ‘Poo Dabba dance’ is a fun animated illustration to drive home the point of the rising growth of poop in the city. It urges viewers to act now by sharing the website link. Uploaded two days ago, the video has been watched more than 600 times.
How cool is it?
As an awareness and a changemaker campaign led by social media, ‘Take Poo to The Loo’ is well oriented with its objective. I like the concept of personifying Mr. Poo to help bring about healthy discussions on an otherwise uncomfortable topic in the country. We know open defecation is hazardous to our health but we don’t know what to do about it and the campaign provides a guiding hand.
Mobilizing the youth by reaching out to them via social media will not only work in creating awareness about the acute health issue, but also to help influence the various agencies in the city to join in and create a meaningful change. Communicating with fun visuals, animations and video content will also help in creating ‘shareable’ pieces of content on social media.
Hoping the campaign will trigger better toilet facilities for all families in the country, I urge you to take a pledge at the site and help in whatever way possible.