A Journey to the Toilet – Synopsis
Did you know that there is such a thing as a school without toilets? Hard to imagine, but it turns out that in some parts of the world this is almost as common as a school with toilets.
At first this might seem bizarre, perhaps even disgusting as you start to think about how it might affect the day to day lives of the students and teachers at the school.
Since the beginning of time boys and men have used trees and bushes, sometimes even walls, as their toilet. For girls and women, however, it’s not so straight forward.
In India almost 25% of girls drop out of school on reaching puberty with around half of them saying that lack of toilets is the reason for doing so. Another 25% take time off school when they have their period. Girls and female teachers stand unhappily by as they watch the boys and men around them drinking water during the school day while they must abstain to minimise the need to go to the toilet.
The impact of putting toilets into schools is extraordinary to say the least. Girls start drinking water during the day. Absentee rates among girl students fall. The numbers of girls enrolled starts to increase almost immediately after the toilets are installed. The longer term impact of these changes measurable and undeniable. Girls who stay in school longer will marry later and have fewer children. The child mortality rate among their own children will fall and their lifetime earning capacity will increase by an average of 5% for each additional year spent in school.
This book tells the story of this Australian author’s unexpected discovery of the toilet world and how his life and the lives of tens of thousands of children in India have been dramatically changed as a result of this discovery.
The profits from sales of this book will be given to projects that aim to improve the lives of some of the most underprivileged children in the world. If you would like to read this fascinating story and at the same time help these children you can buy a copy of the book from www.toiletwarrior.net
To read Mark Balla’s exclusive interview with The Indian Weekly visit: