More people have access to a cell phone than a toilet! About 70 percent of households in India don’t have access to toilets, whether in rural areas or urban slums. Roughly 60 percent of the country’s 1.2 billion people still defecate in the open.

The consequences for women are huge. These range from polluted water leading to women and children dying from childbirth-related infections, rampant water-borne diseases, to the risk and reality of being attacked and raped, to girls dropping out of school once they reach puberty. It’s the difference between education and independence and being locked into poverty and subjugation.

1 in 5 children under the age of 5 die each day from waterborne disease — one every 21 seconds, as a direct result of contaminated water and poor sanitation and hygiene.

The lack of toilets and clean water is only half the problem. A larger problem is to change the country’s

culture of open defecation and lack of sanitation.

As an integral part of village well-being initiative, Project Water Is Life collaborates with the local communities and NGOs, like The Art of Living to build toilets and spread awareness on sanitation and hygiene.

An example of what a finished toilet will look like. 


  • Our goal is to construct 2000 toilets in 2017 scaling to 400,000 within 3 years in Latur, Maharashtra.

Plan of action:

  • The Govt of India under its flagship Swatch Bharat campaign is pushing for a open defecation free India by 2019 and is encouraging people to build toilets by providing a financial incentive of INR 12,000 ($200) towards construction costs.

  • We augment this with an additional $50 per toilet to construct better quality robust toilets that will actually get used.

  • We also ensure that the beneficiary villagers own this project by taking the financial responsibility of constructing the septic tank for the toilet.

  • We have partnered with the Art of Living Foundation, India to execute on the ground.

1 Toilet = $50

Feeling inspired, get involved!

© 2017 Overseas Volunteer For Better India. All rights reserved.

  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon