As part of the nation-wide Total Sanitation Campaign, Indian women are being urged not to marry when who lack indoor toilets. The publicity campaign is intended to encourage rural Indians to install proper plumbing fixtures as part of a movement that seeks to make the entire country more sanitary.
Due to lack of proper facilities, many people in India simply relive themselves outdoors, which encourages the spread of disease and can put women in danger. The government has begun initiatives to introduce more sanitation into the lives of rural Indians.
In one of the ads of the campaign, famous Bollywood actress Vidya Balan plays the role of a woman praising a friend for leaving her husband's home after discovering that there was no indoor toilet.
The ad is based on real life events that happened in 2011, when a woman named Anita Narre left her husband's home after two day due to the lack of a toilet. The woman's husband then built an indoor latrine and the woman returned home. Soon after, the event became well-known throughout the state, and is considered to be responsible in part for the country's new surge in sanitation, according to Women's News.
In the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the government provides assistance to people seeking to build toilets. After Narre's story became famous, many people wanted to build toilets in their homes in order to be more sanitary, and the local government provided help. Narre's husband used the same system when he built his toilet.
There are many mass weddings in Madhya Pradesh that help families avoid the costs of hosting their own lavish weddings. The ceremonies are very popular among poor Indians, but a caveat to the system was added this past year: All grooms must submit a picture of themselves in their home near their toilet. If this proof of plumbing was not provided, the men could not participate in the mass weddings, The Sun notes.
According to one official, the photos are mandatory because "We were asking for affidavits from grooms to confirm to us they had toilet facilities at home, but they could easily lie and deceive us."
The movement has been very successful in getting people to install indoor toilets. Approximately 1,500 couples constructed new toilets in order to be married.
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