Not Even Independence
Is More Important than Sanitation
In India, more than 600,000 children die before the age of five from diarrhoea and pneumonia. These deaths could be prevented through proper hygiene and sanitation programmes. Even at the young age of 17, Meesha Gandhi is aware of the severity of these issues and along with Unilever Project Sunlight, is committed to creating a bright future of abundance and equality.
On World Water Day 2013, Meesha was chosen by her school as the Survey Team Head. This provided her with the opportunity to visit slums, residential homes, hospitals, and offices around Mumbai to witness first-hand the water problems in these areas.
“Our visit to slums in my own city was eye opening. Open sewage channels run the length of the narrow lanes. The smell is repulsive. The scenes made me nauseous. The residents are oblivious to the smells and conditions. I told the children it was unhygienic to have an open sewage outside their house. They said, ‘Yeh toh chalta hai’ –
‘This is completely fine’.
“This is unacceptable.”
Unilever Project Sunlight is making a difference by working with Save The Children to set up Mobile Health Units in Delhi. These will have a positive effect for thousands of children living on the street.
After witnessing the situation in Delhi, Meesha and her classmates created a water conservation device which helped people easily allocate their daily water ration for cooking, washing and bathing.
Meesha believes that sanitation is a basic human right for all men, women, and children. She is particularly passionate about how this crisis affects women and girls, who often leave school during puberty without the basic right to proper sanitation.
Join Unilever Project Sunlight and Meesha in taking action by visiting.
“Be the voice for the silent masses. Speak for those who ask for nothing and are often forgotten. Make them matter to you.”