Meet Mr Poo - India's anti-public defecation mascot from Unicef
Though the video is light-hearted; the issue is a serious one
Wednesday 16 April 2014
Meet Mr Poo: The lumpy, brown anthropomorphised faeces that is the face of Unicef's latest public health campaign in India.
Accompanied by an insanely catchy techno-Bollywood-style anthem, Mr Poo features in a very silly and surreal new video aimed at raising awareness of the health dangers associated with public defecation in India. Though the video is light-hearted; the issue is a serious one.
Globally, India has the largest number of people, more than 620 million, still defecating in the open. Only about half the population of the country use toilets.
According to the Poo2Loo campaign, which is supported by United Nations Children's Fund, 44 per cent of mothers in India dispose of their children’s faeces in the open, meaning there is an extremely high risk of microbial contamination (bacteria, viruses, amoeba) of water - which can cause diarrhea in children.
Diarrhea makes children more vulnerable to malnutrition, stunting, and opportunistic infections such as pneumonia.
Mr Poo, who also features in his own smartphone app, released last month, is part of a brave campaign from Unicef, an organisation often reluctant to take a humourous or light-hearted approach to taboo public health subjects.
It has received a mixed reception since it began in January of this year. Some commenters beneath the video posted by Unicef India on YouTube described the campaign as 'degrading', with some criticising the use of English in the video and claiming that its target audience are likely to be already using toilets.
However, the video has received better responses on social media for making a serious and taboo subject accessible.
The video begins with a man sleeping in his bed as the accompanying song begins: "First thing in the morning, what do I see? A pile of sh*t staring at me." He is chased down the street by a collection of poos before the people of town build a giant toilet and flush the faeces away.
"Urban or rural, poo is all around us, in our playgrounds and outside our offices. If we're silent, we're contributors," Maria Fernandez, a Unicef campaign coordinator in India told the Wall Street Journal.
"And," she said, "the song is catchy. I wake up singing it."
- 4 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 5 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party is the right choice for you
General election: Conservatives mocked online over Boris Johnson's claim of SNP 'jockalypse'
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General Election 2015: Sturgeon claims Scots 'appalled' by Ed Miliband's refusal to work with SNP
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...