Water Heroes : Anjali Sarker and Toilet+

Is there a monster under my bed? Or maybe something lurking in my closet? Probably not, but for a child growing up in a developed country these are the kinds of fears that can rule their bedtime. Silly? Yes, and as a child grows up they will realize that it was all in their mind. Anjali Sarker had a different fear growing up, and one that was actually based in reality. While growing up in a rural Bangladeshi village Anjali's biggest fear was something that a lot of us take for granted, but that millions don't have access to: her toilet.It looked something like this:

via defence.pk

Imagine being a little child and having to use this type of toilet. It's dirty and unhygienic, there are flies everywhere, and it's quite possible that you could fall through into the smelly waste below. Unlike monsters in the closet this is a real fear that I think we can all understand. Because of her fear, as a child Anjali came up with her own solution: limiting the amount of water she drank so that she didn't have to use the toilet as often. Obviously this isn't a healthy solution, and she soon learned that lesson when her kidneys failed and she had to be hospitalized. Fortunately she recovered, but unfortunately neither her fear or her solution is limited to Anjali, and many children (especially little girls) die every year because they see drinking less water as a way to defeat this fear. Another solution often employed, but one that is not any safer, is open defecation, a practice that can also lead to death through water contamination and disease.

Anjali's fear was traumatic for her growing up, but as she got older that fear turned into motivation. She decided to do something about it, and developed Toilet+.

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