India’s cricket legend, Sachin Tendulkar, who after resigning from the sport was appointed the first UNICEF ambassador to South Asia will be visiting Bhutan apart from other countries in the region very soon starting next year. Sachin described his new role as his ‘second innings in life’. UNICEF’s Regional Director said she was hopeful about Sachin Tendulkar bringing about a change in attitude towards sanitation and hygiene adding that at the end of the day, it the attitude that matters no matter what facilities are available at your disposal. “This is a campaign about transforming South Asia.”
UNICEF statistics reveal that 61 percent of South Asians lack improved sanitation, and 681 million South Asians defecate in the open. However, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka have been able to address health and sanitation issues to a large extent as compared to India. Bhutan’s household and sanitation coverage stands at 90 percent but the WHO/UNICEF joint monitoring programme found out that there is not enough accessibility to improved sanitation.