Have you ever pictured a house without toilets? Well, in India, this is a reality. In the district of Cuddalore in which our organization is established, more than 60% of the population does not have access to toilet facilities. After the success of our former campaign to build 500 toilets in the district of Cuddalore; we decided to extend it and to build more toilet facilities for another 300 families. These families were chosen amongst the poorest Dalit and tribal communities of our district.
Most of Dalit and Tribal families, have no land in their names, or have very limited space. Therefore building a toilet is not only very costly for these families but can also be limited by space. Thus, they have to defecate in open air. This practice creates a "fecal pollution", contaminating the plants and the water, causing water borne diseases like Cholera or Malaria, that mainly affect children. A social issue is also hiding: women and girls are the target of violation due to this issue.
A few years ago, the Indian government launched a campaign to eradicate this issue by giving subsidies for the building of sanitary infrastructure. BLESS responded to this campaign by launching this project; by building toilets we will contribute directly to the eradication of this issue. The building of toilets for the poorest families shall raise awareness about this issue amongst the other families in the district. The project will be lead in Cuddalore district, deeply touched by this issue.
On the long term, this program will contribute to the fight against diseases and water contamination. But it will also allow us to sensitize the people from remote areas to hygiene and to the importance of a sanitary environment. Moreover, our design of toilet will avoid the pollution of the soil and will also produce an ecologic fertilizer to help people grow a kitchen garden.