The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday launched a campaign to promote sanitation and toilet use while shunning open defecation as the country prepares to host the sixth T20 World Cup from March 8 to April 3.
Launched in collaboration with UNICEF and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), under the ‘Cricket for Good & Team Swachh’ campaign, the ICC will hold clinics focusing on water, sanitation and hygiene in eight Indian cities hosting the cup, ICC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Richardson said.
"These clinics will be attended by celebrities and former players who will inspire others to join the movement. During the (T20) world cup matches, the clinics will be organised with the participating team members," the ICC chief said.
The campaign plans to reach rural and urban populace by intervening at different levels, through school programmes and district and municipal level activities.
Richardson added that ‘Team Swachh Action Kits’ that are ready-to-use pre-fabricated boxes containing cricket themed games along with an implementation hand book and campaign material to promote cleanliness will also be distributed among both rural and urban populace.
UNICEF ambassador and cricket great Sachin Tendulkar stressed that everyday 1600 children die because unknowingly, some mothers don’t wash their hands properly before feeding their children which spreads bacteria and disease.
"We all have come together to fight against open defecation at a time when India will host the T20 World Cup," Sachin said.
Speaking on the occasion BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said that the board will create awareness about sanitation through "player pledges, messages, especially among children".
"We won't limit the campaign to the World Cup. It's just the launching pad," Thakur said.
UNICEF regional director for South Asia Karin Hulshof was also present at the event.