I'm the editor of PoopReport.com. I've been living in India for the last six months. While here, I've come across a great cause related to the subject of my site: raising money to build toilets for lowest-caste girls studying at the Pardada Pardadi school in rural Uttar Pradesh.I'm in for $250 -- I've dug pit latrines in a squatter village in Central America and it's pretty thankless labor, but I've seen first hand what a difference it makes. Link (Thanks, Dave!)
Today these students are forced to suffer the dangers and humiliation of waking up before sunrise to relieve themselves in nearby fields. This is incredibly unsanitary and quite demeaning -- imagine if you had to wait until the sun was down before you could use the bathroom, no matter how bad you had to go?
But a toilet really can change their lives. It will directly impact the health and the dignity of these students, their families, and their villages as a whole.
A single dual-pit toilet based on the Sulabh model (which converts waste into fertilizer and needs to be serviced only once every five years) costs $250. Every little bit helps -- $1 is enough to cover lunch for four laborers building the toilets. But if you give a full $250, Pardada Pardadi will give you naming rights and send you picture of your toilet and of the girl and the family to whom you've given such a great gift.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.