Making Toilets Affordable

Shanti, from Katihar, Bihar did not have a toilet at her house and used to go to the railway tracks for open defection. It always seemed awkward to defecate in open; especially when there were trains passing through, however, due to financial constraints they could never construct a toilet in their house.

Through a neighbor, Shanti was encouraged to join an orientation meeting hosted by a Water.org local partner, Mahila Housing SEWA Trust. As part of that meeting Shanti learned about the importance of water and sanitation along with how she could take out a loan for those needs. After discussing it with her husband, she filled in an application to join the Joint Liability Group for toilet construction.

Shanti is paying back her loan installments on a regular basis and is happy to use her in-house toilet for defecation. In Shanti's own words, "I like the idea of taking a loan for toilet construction and paying back in small installments because it is affordable for poor people like us."

Capital city: New Delhi
Population of 1.2 billion
103.8 million lack safe water
802 million have no sanitation services
Infant mortality rate of 4.3%
29.8% live in poverty

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