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Changing hearts and minds to leave no one behind: Sanitation Action Summit 2016

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To support and accelerate the objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission India, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) along with Global Citizen India, the Government of India, and the Government of Maharashtra, created a platform for listening and learning during the Sanitation Action Summit held in Mumbai on 18 November 2016.

The summit brought together citizens from across India who are often silent and/or invisible in the SBM conversations and programming—sanitation workers, adolescent girls and boys, transgender persons, elderly persons, and persons with disabilities. In India, 44% of the 1.27 billion people still defecate in the open; the absence of safe and hygienic sanitation largely affects the country’s most marginalised citizens.

This report summarizes the process and outcomes of the Action Summit. It describes how it came about, and who came to listen, share and learn. It points to the Summit’s impact, noting that the 300 participants were highly satisfied with the event, gained greater understanding of the issues, and committed to future action. The report offers summary highlights of the plenary and panel sessions, where notable Indian and international speakers argued the case to Leave No One Behind in the Sustainable Development Goals era.  Most importantly, the report summarizes the challenges faced and opportunities present for achieving equitable, safe sanitation and hygiene for all in India.

Date: 12 January 2017