Last week, Astral Pipes released a commercial in India that addresses the lack of our most basic needs: privacy when urinating and defecating. This is especially important for women, who take a risk every time they venture out to relieve themselves in nature. In the ad, a group of men in their pajamas go out to a field to do their business, when suddenly they are surrounded by a bunch of chanting women, who shame the men and even snap photos of them with an cel phone.
When the men plead with them to consider their honor, the women respond, "Oh, really? When we are assaulted or raped because we have to go to the field in the cover of darkness to relieve ourselves, what happens to privacy or honor?"
According to NPR:
More than 500 million people — representing more than half of the world's toilet-less people – live in India. According to UNICEF, India has nearly 200,000 diarrheal deaths yearly among children under age five, the highest number in the world. Open defecation is a contributing factor.
And without private toilets, the health of women and girls suffers, too. Many develop genitourinary infections from not urinating frequently enough — and from poor hygiene during menstruation.
The U.N. report also says the lack of private toilets exposes women to physical attacks and even natural dangers like animal attacks and snake bites. Stories of girls being assaulted when they go to do their business in the fields abound.
The ad has gone viral on YouTube, at almost 600,000 views.