#GiveAShit Episode 5: A ‘Swachh Bharat’ That Leaves The Poor Behind?

Posted on October 10, 2015 in #GiveAShit, Staff Picks, Video

By Youth Ki Awaaz and SHRI

60% of the world’s open defecations take place in India, that amounts to roughly half a billion people. PM Modi very confidently said, “Pehle shauchalay, phir devalaya, (Toilets first, temples later),” and plans to build around 12 crore toilets by 2019 under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). The final episode of ‪#‎GiveAShit‬ explores the difficulties local administration and people face while trying to build these promised toilets. From unreasonable guidelines, to misuse, to sheer helplessness, the on-ground implementation of the mission reveals disappointing results.

Why #GiveAShit?

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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