By Youth Ki Awaaz and SHRI:
Where would you build a toilet if you owned no land? That is a question that millions of Indians are forced to ask themselves. They are inundated with pleas from the government and better off citizens to build toilets so that they stop defecating in the open. But this is not an option if your family owns no land. This is the case for so many families living in the Supaul district of Bihar, where the Koshi river has washed away land that used to belong to many. These people were never able to recover and thus squat on government land.
Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan does not account for the millions of families that do not own land. This video is a first-hand account of what life without land means, and how that impacts access to other vital services.
Half of India’s 1.2 billion people defecate (poop) outside, in the open every day. That is twice the population of the United States of America. This has severe consequences on the health, society and economy of India. With over 100,000 tons of untreated human waste out in the open – it is a serious health risk, especially for children under the age of 5. Outdoor defecation also poses a serious security threat to women and girls. Economically, India spends nearly $54 Billion (6% of GDP) in countering open defecation.
Though the PM has launched India’s Swachh Bharat Mission with the aim of making India open defecation free by 2019, the ground reality goes far beyond building just toilets.
#GiveAShit highlights what India’s rural poor believe are the implications of life without a toilet and the structural flaws that prevent millions from gaining access to a toilet.
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