Here’s How One Group Is Using Movies To Tackle The Dangerous Lack Of Toilets In Communities

Posted on April 16, 2014 in Specials

By Roseanna Macdonald:

In December, Youth Ki Awaaz brought to you the story of Apna Haq, a collaborative project between Voices of Women Media and Feminist Approach to Technology. The project involved a three-month long workshop in which VOW Media trained young women from the slums around Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi to use film, photography and radio in order to raise awareness and disseminate information about the situation they face every day. At the time of writing, the project participants had already created a stunning body of photography documenting their everyday lives, a radio show in which they recount the violence they endure at home at the hands of their families, and were about to embark on creating a film about the critical lack of toilets in their communities, where up to 700 families share only 20 toilets. The participants were keen to share their experience and show the effects a lack of access to toilets has on people’s lives, particularly young women’s.

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After 3 weeks of filming, the participants had created four short films, each one focusing on a particular issue surrounding the lack of toilets in their community. With a mixture of poignancy and humour, the film goes right to the heart of the critical situation. The girls shot the films in their own neighbourhoods and involved each other as well as members of their communities throughout the entire process. Of course it wasn’t always easy as they would get harassed by boys, told off by the police etc. but focused on their work, the girls managed to get all the necessary footage.

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Four months on, the workshop is over but participants of the project are as busy as ever. Using the newly gained skills they have learned, they are currently holding public screenings and discussions of the film both within their communities and outside to raise awareness of the situation they face. The hope is that their advocacy and awareness-raising will help influence policy changes and bring an end to the dangerous lack of toilets in their communities.

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If you are interested in attending a public screening, or hosting one yourself, please contact for more information.