A toilet provides freedom

Before, Mrs. Bhuvaneswari's family had to spend time walking to find a place to go to the bathroom. Now they are able to use their own toilet and their time for better things.

Mrs. Bhuvaneswari has been a resident of the Kantanakunte village in India since birth. She is housewife and has two children. Her husband is a mason and the family depends on his income as the sole source for the family. They have their own house, but it did not have any basic facilities like a toilet. Since the family didn’t have any toilet facilities they had to practice open defecation. This led to a lot of problems including health-related issues, loss of income and lost time. The women had walk about 0.5 kilometers every day in the early morning or late at night, to find comfortable place to go for open defecation. The condition was worse at night and when it rained.

After taking out a WaterCredit loan, the family was able to construct a very good toilet. Mrs. Bhuvaneswari and her family members contributed to the construction of the toilet which included wall curing and water gathering for construction purposes. After the construction of the toilet, the family members began to use it. Mrs. Bhuvaneswari said that her family hadn’t been able to construct a toilet on their own for the last 20 years, but after the revolving loan fund (RLF) project intervention she became interested in constructing one. Her family contributed their own money (2,000 INR) and money from a WaterCredit loan (7,000 INR) to build their toilet.

Before constructing the toilet, time was consumed by open defecation. Now the family is able to save their precious time and use it for other things. They have also started to grow food like lemon, tomatoes, and flowers near the toilet. This has increased Mrs. Bhuvaneswari's income and provided the family with nutritious food. Now she is very happy saying, “We feel comfortable using a toilet of our own, rather than walking long distance to find bushes.”

Capital: New Delhi
Population of 1.2 billion
77 million lack access to safe water
769 million lack access to improved sanitation
59% of the total population lives on less than US$2 per day