We’re usually reluctant to steer our multitudes of fans to charity causes, mostly because we don’t want a bunch of doo-gooders crawling all over themselves for some of that sweet, sweet scratch.
This is different. This time it’s about poop. And that’s something we can all get behind (Get it? Get it?).
Via Boing Boing, the Web site PoopReport.com is collecting donations to build pit toilets for each of the 700 girls enrolled at the Pardada Pardadi school in rural India (Uttar Pradesh). The school was founded by an Indian citizen who spent 40 years in the U.S. and then returned to India to build a school for girls — who are mostly used for manual labor and baby-making in that region.
The school was built, and has met with some success, but the girls who attend don’t have anywhere to go to bathroom, typically rising before the sun to poop in the fields. This practice is not only demeaning to the young girls, but part of a nationwide sanitation problem:
This is the practice across India, including in Karanpur. And the sanitary ramifications are staggering. Poop is a vector for bacteria and viruses, and it attracts insects and rodents that are equally unhealthy. People poop faster than Mother Nature can degrade it, which means people who poop in the same place day after day will inevitably come into contact with festering feces. A speck of poop on a shoe gets touched by a hand that passes a glass of water to a two-year-old: that’s how disease spreads.
The school’s founder, Sam Singh, says the sanitation standards of the whole community rise the more the school girls learn about it. They bring their lessons home to the family, making them healthier. The family’s influence on neighbors then improves the overall quality of public health.
All donations are accepted via major credit cards on the site, and even a donation of $1 is enough to feed the laborers working on the pot for a day. The total cost of each toilet is $250. Donate the full amount and Singh has a special bonus prize for you:
Part of Sam’s fundraising scheme is naming rights: if you sponsor a complete toilet, he’ll inscribe your name on it. Upon completion, he’ll send you photos of the toilet bearing your name, along with pictures of the students and the family whose lives will change because of your generosity.