Wednesday June 19, 2019

Tendulkar pushes Sri Lanka’s sanitation drive of potty politicians

By Namal Suvendra

Oct 13, 2015 06:01 AM GMT+0530 | 11 Comment(s)

THE SCRUB:  Tendulkar in action in Colombo.

ECONOMYNEXT - Indian mega star Sachin Tendulkar is pushing a major sanitation drive in Sri Lanka encouraging children to wash their hands, something local politicians have already turned into a fine art.

According to the UN children’s fund UNICEF, a considerable number of Sri Lankans have joined the potty ranks of "open defecators" while 610 million in South Asia do not have toilets. A staggering 1,600 children reportedly die each day from diarrhoeal diseases world-wide, according to UNICEF.

Tendulkar took time out at the Taj Samudra on Monday to show Sri Lankan girls and boys how to wash their hands thoroughly. He was joined by Sri Lankan cricket legend Muttiah Muralitharan who was seen furiously rubbing his hands in a gesture of delivering a controversial doosra.

Perhaps the UNICEF should have got Sri Lankan politicians involved to more effectively drive the point home.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe could have shown how to wash hands off a bond scandal while former president Mahinda Rajapaksa could have illustrated how to sanitise his military's murder of civilians as a “humanitarian operation”.  

His successor, Maithripala Sirisena, also could have been an excellent mentor for the washing drive. Sirisena has excelled in washing away the sins of many SLFP politicians to make them squeaky clean to join his sanitised cabinet.

Considering the gravity of the issue UNICEF has raised with Tendulkar’s celebrity status, President Sirisena could consider a minister for Sanitation to replicate the success of the mobile phone industry.

Perhaps the lack of toilets explains the success of the mobile phone industry in Sri Lanka as well as elsewhere in South Asia. Those without a toilet are likely to spend more time roaming for a suitable place to download with some degree of privacy.

Sri Lanka’s share of people without toilets is about 2.8 million joining the ranks of  "open defecators."

Toilet usage in Sri Lanka has increased in recent years, but 14 percent of households still do not have toilets of their own, according to UNICEF. This means millions of Sri Lankans  have to share a public toilet or just gel with nature.

UNICEF’s "wash in school" initiative is expected to reduce the diarrhoeal deaths and the “wash in public” politicians should be able to help. (Colombo/Oct13/2015)



  1. surendran January 26, 11:35 AM

    The Biggest of Joke ...jobless Tendulkar comes to sri lanka sure had he spent this time in his own Bombay... and these jokers are teaching to wash hands in 5 star hotels instead teaching the Montessori children where it would have been worth while so that children will benefit better

  2. citizen October 13, 03:38 AM

    Are they all blind in the UNICEF? People in UNICEF should take a trip around india and observe how Indians ... on public roads and railway lines. Cant they find anything better to do for Tendulkar ?

  3. Giabao October 13, 03:33 AM

    This is absolutely rubbish. Sri Lankans are much cleaner than indians and they do not ... and .... in public. In such scenario it is hialrious that an indian coming here and telling to wash our hands. who came up with such a hilarious idea.

  4. Sathyam October 13, 02:22 AM

    He should build toilets and train Indians to use toilets before he come to Sri Lanka to train us wash our hands.

  5. adey October 13, 01:38 AM

    Our politicians only know to wash their hands of corruption.

  6. Ragu October 13, 12:05 PM

    let him do something in India first

  7. deen October 13, 11:58 AM

    he is mega star but knowledge and sports are two different he thinks the all the countries are like India in sri lanka i have never seen a house wiith no toilet its india charity begin at home

  8. Ragu October 13, 12:03 PM

    You are right Dany. Let him do something in India first

  9. dany October 13, 11:11 AM

    i am sure you should do something in India first before doing it in Sri Lanka.

  10. garawi October 13, 10:52 AM

    What is he doing here when Indians defacate in the public by the roadside? That's where he has to go to educate them to build toiletts. Sri Lankans are much cleaner than the Indians. Who said we don't wash?

  11. nf October 13, 06:32 AM

    Instead you should promote how to use toilets in INDIA

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