Foreign diplomats, officials chip in for Swachh Bharat

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) Diplomats and other officials from various countries participated in a tennis tournament here to raise money to build eco-friendly toilets in an Indian village as part of the government’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign.

Those who participated in the two-day ‘Tennis4Toilets’ tourney that ended at the R.K. Khanna Stadium on Sunday included diplomats and administrative staff of embassies of Bosnia Herzegovina, Chile, Guatemala and Serbia etc. Representatives of different organisations also participated.

The Serbian Embassy and All India Tennis Association organised the tournament, in which Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation (Sulabh International) and G4S security services were also roped in.

“The idea (for the charity tournament) came while we were talking and enjoying tennis. It took us time, but we were finally ready with ‘Tennis4Toilets’. We wanted the participants to play tennis and help pay for building ecological toilets,” Serbian Ambassador to India Vladimir Maric said.

“The aim is to raise enough money to make an entire village open defecation-free,” he added.

G4S India managing director Ashok Bajpai said: “We thank the organisers and the participants who made this event a great success. We are happy to associate with ‘Tennis4Toilets’, an initiative that supports the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign of the government of India.”

“The government alone cannot achieve the ‘Swachh Bharat’ aim of open defecation-free India by 2019. So, all of us – including non-governmental organisations and people who want to work with us – have to come forward to build toilets,” Sulabh International chairman Pankaj Jain said.

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