New Delhi: Aimed at creating awareness about sanitation, a three-day International Toilet Festival kick-started in the city Tuesday, on the eve of World Toilet Day.
As part of the festival, being organised by NGO Sulabh International, a toilet pot replica made of wood, fiber and plaster of paris claimed to be the world's largest, was unveiled.
"The aim is to create awareness about toilet and sanitation," said Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International.
Celebrated Nov 19 every year since 2001, the day was recognized in 2013 by the United Nations General Assembly.
The festival will see participation from students from six countries including Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Laos.
Nearly 1,000 children from seven countries staged a walkathon carrying an actual toilet pot and lota (vessel).
"The students were joined by around 50 widows from Vrindavan and hundreds of liberated women manual scavengers from different parts of country to form a human chain in front of the huge national flag at Central Park in the heart of the capital," a statement from Sulabh said.
"They took a pledge for 'Toilet for All by 2019' to mark the momentous occasion in line with Modi government's Swachh Bharat campaign," the statement added.
The United Nations has estimated that there are 2.5 billion people who still do not use an improved sanitation facility and a little over 1 billion practice open defecation.
The day aims to break the taboo around toilets and draw attention to the global sanitation challenge.