Akshay Kumar’s ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’, directed by Shree Narayan Singh is in sync with the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan  initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently launched Swachhathon — Swachh Bharat Hackathon. 

Initiated by the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation the six-pronged cleanliness drive invites the youth to share innovative ideas for sanitation. The best ideas will win prizes. The contest, open from August 2 to 25, invites entries in six categories — Monitoring Usage Of Toilets, Behavioural Change, Toilet Technology, Operation and Maintenance of School Toilets, Technological Solutions for Safe Disposal of Menstrual Waste and Early Decomposition of Faecal Matter. V Radha, Joint Secretary, Ministry for Drinking Water and Sanitation, says, “These are some of our real problems The government understands the power of the people and we’re looking out for ideas in innovation in toilet technology.” The ministry is planning a curtain raiser on August 11. Shortlisted entries will be called for a demo in Delhi after August 25, and the finalists will clash on September 8. 

Akshay, who has interacted with various groups over the Swachh movement, says, “The youth is here to make a difference, they are all about improving and empowering. It is good to see and hear how many great young and professional minds are setting about making the change.” 

The actor is looking forward to hearing from students as well. He states, “This isn’t a cause just for villages. There are students, especially girls, who have to drop out of schools purely because of the lack of toilets and sanitation. It’s so sad that in this day and age hygiene is a major concern in this country, and that we are losing out on women becoming more educated for reasons beyond their control.” 

As for lending support to making a movie that revolves around the cause, he sums up, “This film isn’t just about preaching ‘you should have a toilet, go make one’. The story encourages to teach elders and backward societies that having a toilet is not taboo; it will not only keep women safer and more comfortable, but most importantly, it will save lives. People don’t understand the number of children that die every year from fecal diseases because of lack of toilets and sanitation. This film is not the answer, it is merely a stepping stone to the change that’s needed.”