Updated: Jul 27, 2021
Did you know that 355 million women and girls in India lack access to a toilet? This makes them vulnerable to disease, harassment and forces many to drop out of school. (*2017 WaterAid report)
Archana embodies the Reap Benefit belief that team members should take consistent action not just in their official capacity but also in their personal lives. Since 2018, Archana’s change.org campaign to unlock Swachh Bharat toilets on National Highway 75 has garnered support from 1,30,000 signatories. Her efforts have helped unlock 6 out of 14 toilets along the National Highway, but Archana is far from done.
We use Reap Benefit’s DISS problem solving framework to show how Archana went about this. DISS stands for Discover-Investigate-Solve-Share.
But first, a flashback
Archana grew up in Sakleshpur, Karnataka where she studied in the local government school till class 5. Archana recalls that neither her school nor home had an indoor toilet or outhouse.
“Open defecation was the norm. I remember how afraid I used to be of things like snakes and other reptiles when I had to pee! A group of us girls would always go together with one of us keeping guard.”
The first time Archana saw an indoor toilet was in her father’s office and she nonchalantly admits that she didn’t know how to use it. It was only in middle school that she had access to an indoor toilet for the first time.
Archana’s first brush with public toilets was in 2006 when she came to Bangalore.
“It looked clean outside but inside it was disgusting! There was no lock on the door, it smelled horrible and there were obscene messages scribbled on the walls. It was a total shock to the senses!”
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the last time Archana was faced with such terrible public facilities.
Why is this flashback important? Being personally affected by a problem can trigger individuals to go to great lengths to solve them! It’s something we’ve seen with many of the young people we work. Read more- https://medium.com/reap-benefit/archana-kr-is-raising-a-stink-about-unusable-toilets-on-nh75-32e049abb578