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Putting the water, sanitation, hygiene issues in perspective. Join the conversation.
WaterAid/ Dieter Telemans

Recent posts

How my piece on Youth Ki Awaaz got my workplace to make washrooms more accessible

Writing about your most intimate experiences is not an easy thing, and takes some guts. But if it helps people change the way they think, I believe it is totally worth it. With this belief, on World Disability Day (December 3, 2016), I wrote on Youth Ki Awaaz about how tough it is for a... Read more

‘In the case Of dry toilets, 95% manual scavengers are women’: A revealing interview

Ashif Shaikh was selected for the Ashoka Fellowship in 2016. But such recognition was not always the case in his life. Born into a Dalit Muslim family, Shaikh faced discrimination both, in Madrasas and schools. However, by the time he was 17 he was already organising students to fight caste discrimination and violence. In the... Read more

When I paddled to meet Kanpur’s toilet ladies!

It’s 5 AM, freezing cold and foggy outside and we don’t need to launch our paddle board till 8 AM. I am however awake to carry out my daily ablutions. I try to use the cover of darkness and before our camp is surrounded by a big crowd of onlookers. It is mid-day and we... Read more

How domestic workers are denied access to toilets they clean

Meena*, a part-time domestic worker in South Delhi, begins working at 7 am every day. Well into her 50s, she is employed by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation to sweep roads and collect household waste from residences in Munirka. Once this work is complete, she also cleans the toilets in 3 to 4 houses in... Read more

Despite being perfectly healthy, I’m forced to wear adult diapers to work

For the last 29 years, answering nature’s call has been one of my biggest struggles – because finding an “accessible toilet” in our country is like finding a needle in a haystack. When I took up my first job at a domestic call centre, I knew it had no lift, was on the first floor... Read more

Open defecation in India: forcing people to stop is not the solution

Ever since the re-branding and re-launch of the Indian government’s flagship sanitation campaign, the Swachh Bharat Mission, the country’s sanitation sector has been galvanised to debate and take action with a sense of urgency. The goal is ambitious: make India open defecation-free by 2 October 2019 – the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma... Read more

For almost 5 lakh Indians, using a public toilet means abuse and harassment

Less than a year after the Karnataka government honoured a trans woman with the state’s second highest civilian award, she had to face humiliation at the legislative assembly premises merely because she needed to use the toilet. Akkai Padmashali, 33, a well-known trans-rights activist, was presented with Rajyotsava award on November 1, 2015, for her... Read more

The Saviours of Sarsaiyya Ghat

Kanpur is the industrial hub of the state of Uttar Pradesh (also popularly known by the sobriquets, ‘Manchester of India’ or ‘Leather City of the World’) is famous for its Kanpuriya Holi and Ganga Mela. The Ganga Mela is celebrated at the city’s well known Sarsaiyya Ghat annually during Holi. This tradition is connected to... Read more