To sensitize urban communities by spurring the bitter truth about the 250 million lives who still practice open defecation in rural India and mobilize urban folks to act and commit to #CloseOpenDefecation and rescue women and children from their plight. To make the privileged people aware about the tales of woe faced by women during the time of month or in general when they have to walk miles to find an isolated place to perform ablution and face lewd remarks by the men on their way to field. To make the urban counterparts aware of the constant state of fear the women folk faces when they decide to eat and drink less at night so that they don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to excuse themselves. And the countless cases of harassment, rape and abuse that follows. To convey the people about the innumerable diseases, the children of rural India are prone to when they choose to defecate in the open amongst which diarrheal deaths ranks the highest. How lack of toilets is endangering multitude of undernourished children resulting into stunting.
We Are Water Foundation, supported by Roca and Parryware conducted a social experiment on this World Toilet Day at one of the most prominent locations in Gurugram, Haryana. A false toilet was constructed for both men and women at Sector 29 market, Gurugram. People came to access the toilet like any other public toilet but were surprised to when they unlocked the door to enter. They were shocked and disgusted at the same time to see a railway track instead of a water closet to perform ablution. The interiors of the false toilets showcased the jarring reality of 250 million people who choose railway tracks, open fields, open ground behind bushes as a defecation site every day unaware about its consequences. Participants were also made aware about problems that occur due to lack of toilets such as the increase in school female dropout rates, problem faced by women and diseases that children fall prey to because of open defecation through placards and posters.
Individuals were moved by what they saw and voiced their opinions about what they had just witnessed. They were disgusted to know about the plight of the pregnant woman and children. They were asked to sign up as volunteers with We Are Water Foundation and commit to #CloseOpenDefecation. More than 300 individuals signed the petition on the wall and 500 participated in the experiment.