Toilet stories

Nowhere to go

Across India, 300 million girls and women are forced to defecate in the open because they do not have access to a toilet.

Kajal, 16 (right), and her cousin Sarita, 17 (left), stand in an open defecation area as night falls. Kajal says, “I would like to have a toilet in the house. If not, I would at least like to use the community toilets so I wouldn’t have to go outside. But it’s five rupees a turn. It’s quite expensive so we can only use it in times of emergency.”

Kajal’s sister Pooja says, “Where we go to the toilet there are many people coming and going. So I go to the toilet at 4am. When people go to the other side of the village, which is more private, men often come in cars and stare at the girls. My mother gets scared when we go to the toilet.”

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