Around 366 million people in India do not have access to toilets - this number is almost the total populations of the UK and the USA combined. Lack of sanitation is the world's biggest cause of infection and often leads to physical disability.
The 1000 Loos Campaign aims to build a thousand toilets in a thousand villages. It is currently trying to find the best design for a water-free waste solution which could be used in arid rural Rajasthan. Later, the project would be rolled out across the whole of India.
The toilets will be used by able-bodied people as well as those with disabilities. They will give people greater dignity, as villagers currently have to pass waste in the open in fields and forests. This has particular problems for people with disabilities who have mobility issues.
The initiative would also improve the sanitation levels in villages to help prevent the spread of disease in future. Alongside the 1000 loos, a health education campaign would promote better hygiene and sanitation.
It’s hoped a toilet can be developed which would turn waste into wealth by generating a small amount of electrical power, but these designs are still being worked on.
Partner organisations would be approached to help develop the installation of the toilets across India. It’s hoped the scheme will be so successful it will be adopted by other parts of the developing world.
Lack of sanitation is the world's biggest cause of infection. Open defecation creates breeding grounds for disease, which can lead to physical disability. One gram of fecal matter (weighing one bank note) can contain up to 100 parasite eggs, 1,000 parasite cysts, one million bacteria and ten million viruses.
Tourists visiting India are advised to vaccinate against typhoid, cholera, hepatitis and polio: all serious illnesses caused specifically by contaminated feces. The majority of poor Indian people who defecate in the open have little or no awareness about how to protect themselves from these diseases and don’t fully understand the relationship between hygiene and health.
Nearly 500 students with physical disabilities reported that the lack of sanitation in their homes in rural India rules their lives. It affects what and when they eat, and can cause stomach problems and poor health.
Indiability has initially been working with the SKSN Institute to help build toilets near the students' homes. A team of five exceptional and accomplished young women (all past students and now teachers), have come forward with the passion and determination to find a way to deliver a better sanitation solution. The Thousand Loos campaign gets its name from the number of present and past students, and the initiative will cater for as many as 1000 villages, with up to 30,000 beneficiaries.
Many of the young men and women from SKSN Institute know what it's like to live with a disease like polio. Now they are on a mission to extract themselves and future generations from these shackles and statistics. Their aim is to become agents of major social change by creating access to the humblest of things, the toilet.
For the initiative to become an ongoing national campaign, the journey to find an adequate solution will be documented in a film featuring five of the school's students. As well as following the girls' plight and search for an adequate solution, the feature length documentary will also be used as a tool to motivate and sustain changes in sanitation, water and hygiene behaviours across India. By raising public awareness to the essential role that toilets play in health and human development, the film can help to elevate the issue of sanitation to the importance it deserves.
It’s hoped the film will be watched and supported by global audiences from all walks of life, for maximum support. It would unite viewers and policy makers, along with key players who will be instrumental in generating the change needed to stop this silent crisis.
Indiability wants to develop this groundbreaking project by raising as much money as possible and forming early partnerships with organisations who will help us achieve out aim. Not having a toilet is a national and international taboo for about 2.6 billion people, including 980 million children.