If This Video Disgusts You, Remember That This Is A Daily Reality For Nangloi’s Residents

Open drains with excreta flowing through them. Filthy water. One toilet complex for over 10,000 residents. When the Swachh Bharat Mission promised to clean India, it surely wasn’t counting the Bheem Nagar Jhuggi in west Delhi’s Nangloi area as an identified locality for immediate, effective intervention.

A district where shit covers the surface of the only toilets available to the residents, open defecation has naturally become the easiest solution to resort to. And that isn’t free of its problems either. With crackdown from authorities and concerns of the safety of women on the high, it’s no wonder that the residents here feel harassed, betrayed and utterly beaten down. And it’s not just a mere “hard life”- over 50 people have lost their lives on the railway tracks in the last 10 years while simply attempting to relieve themselves.

Shocking? We think so. Especially given that this isn’t the only colony in India that lives like this. As of 2016, almost 600 million Indians were defecating in the open. And almost 3 years since inception, a UN report says the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has only made “moderate progress” towards curbing the forced practice (about 31 percent in all), despite the promise of making the country open defecation-free by 2019. Desperate for change, residents in areas like Nangloi, have nowhere to turn. And the lack of almost 3 years of concrete action by the government has robbed them of any hope for a better life that they may have had.

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