By Youth Ki Awaaz and SHRI:
India’s sanitation crisis is particularly crippling for women. Girls often go to school without toilets. For girls entering puberty, this means that they have no safe or hygienic place to change their pads during the school day, and often either miss school or drop out entirely. Furthermore, walking to fields early in the morning or late in the evening exposes women to sexual assault and rape. This video captures the voices of girls and women in rural Bihar who have experienced this tragic reality.
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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