Mr. Poo aims to stop public defecation in India

By: Matt McGovern Email
By: Matt McGovern Email
UNICEF

Only half of the population of India uses toilets.

INDIA (CNN) - India has an unlikely new public health hero: a giant, anthropomorphic turd that chases people to squat in toilets.

Mr. Poo, who appears in commercials accompanied by a groovy techno anthem, is the face of the latest public health campaign by United Nations Children's Fund in the country. With a bold and quirky approach unlike any previous awareness drives, the "Poo2Loo" campaign seeks to bring people's attention to the health hazards associated with public defecation, a deep-rooted social norm in the country's rural and urban slums

According to UNICEF, India has the highest number of people in the world, an estimated 620 million, who defecate in the open, creating a major public health hazard by leaving an estimated 65 million kilograms of waste each day. Only half of the population uses toilets.

With an animated video, a catchy song with 'toilet sounds', and even a smartphone application, the digitally-led campaign is targeted at the country's youth.

The campaign uses "quirky, informative and inspiring language," said UNICEF spokeswoman Maria Fernandez. "It also contains humor to better connect with the target audience. Once they (the youth) are exposed to the issue, they will be encouraged to know more."


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