World Toilet Day is a day to take action. It is a day to raise awareness about all the people who do not have access to a toilet - despite the human right to water and sanitation. Of the world's seven billion people, 2.5 billion people do not have improved sanitation. One billion people still defecate in the open. Women and girls risk rape and abuse because they have no toilet that offers privacy.
Taken from the WASRAG Newsletter(October, 2015)
The Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group is a group of Rotarians whose purpose is to support Rotary clubs to effectively plan, finance, implement, monitor and evaluate water, sanitation, and hygiene programs, where they are most needed in a collaborative, cost-effective, timely, and sustainable manner, true to the principles of Rotary International. Wasrag operates in accordance with Rotary International policy but is not an agency of, or controlled by, Rotary International.
Do you know?  Early on, Paul Harris (Founder of Rotary) realized that Rotary needed a greater purpose. While Harris served as president of the Chicago Rotary Club in 1907, the club initiated its first public service project, the construction of public toilets in Chicago. This step transformed Rotary into the world’s first Service Club.  The Rotary Club of Chicago performs one of its first acts of community service. The club calls a meeting of civic organizations to establish a committee for installing city comfort stations, or public toilets, to improve sanitation.

It was this same concept of promoting business which led to the first community service project of the original Chicago Rotary Club. In their effort to promote more business, the members decided that since the women did most of the shopping in downtown Chicago, they would do even more if they stayed downtown longer. So, what was the answer? If they put public toilets in downtown Chicago – the shoppers would not have to go home so soon. And that is what they did — installed the first public restrooms in downtown Chicago. When service is provided — business is enhanced. It was on that basis that the world’s service club movement was launched.

In such atmosphere, Rotary’s first public service was rendered. It consisted of initiating and promulgating the establishment of public comfort stations in Chicago. Of all the multitudinous undertakings of Rotary, the writer can not recall one more ambitious. Rotary’s first public undertaking resulted in the enrollment of every important civic organization in the city of Chicago, and also the city and county administrations, in its support. For more than two years the battle against indifference, vested interests, and so forth continued until eventually Chicago’s first public comfort station was established on the northeastern corner of Washington and LaSalle streets. The greater significance however, was in the fact that it was the precursor of thousands of similar services rendered by Rotarians throughout the world. Its lesser significance is to be found in the fact that the Rotary Club was raised to the rank of a civic organization in Chicago, to be counted on, henceforth, as an asset in the city. The head of the Y.M.C.A. expressed the prevailing sentiment when he said, “The Rotary Club of Chicago has now shown reason for its existence.”