Toilet: A Love Story tackles India's sanitation shortcomings with humour and music
MORE than 50% of rapes in India occur when women do not have access to proper sanitation and are forced to defecate in the open and a new film featuring a Bollywood star is tackling the subject.
Akshay Kumar stars in Toilet: Ek Premier Katha (A Love Story) and the film can be seen in Odeon Belfast from August 11.
It is based on the true story of newlyweds Keshav (Akshay Kumar) and Jaya (Bhumi Pednekar) whose marriage is challenged by the lack of sanitation.
The film is pure Bollywood so expect plenty of laughter, singing and dancing with a strong human rights message.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Clean India Movement in a bid to improve sanitation across the nation and since its inception in 2014 almost four million toilets have been built.
Catch it from August 11 at Odeon Belfast.
The problems posed by India's sanitary conditions and open defecation problems are considerable:
- Of the 1.7 million people around the world who die from poor sanitary conditions and unsafe water annually, over 600,000 of them live in India
- Over 50% of rape cases which take place in India happen when women defecate in the open, according to a 2015 Unicef report
- Poor sanitation is estimated to cost the Indian economy more than $106 billion a year
- Millions of women in rural India are forced to walk several kilometers away from their homes to defecate. At dawn and dusk these women are at increased risk of rape and/or kidnap.
The Clean India Movement has made progress since its 2014 inception:
- To date around 3,88,49,539 toilets have been built
- The number of Indians access to proper sanitation has risen from 42% to 63%
- The number of Indian villages declared free of open defecation has risen from 8% 2015 to more than 30%
Prime Minister Modi has launched the Clean India Movement