India’s Gov. Cracks Down, They No Longer Want to Slip On Giant Human Turds in Street [VIDEO]

India’s Gov. Cracks Down, They No Longer Want to Slip On Giant Human Turds in Street [VIDEO]

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India has a major epidemic on their hands. It’s not what you might picture — it’s not an epidemic of disease or crime or sexual assault. No, their epidemic is one of public urination and defecation. They can’t seem to get people to stop urinating or defecating in the streets. Even people who aren’t poor still keep using the bathroom right there in the streets, with men in suits squatting down in public to poop. The government has been building public toilets in an effort to crack down on the disgusting behavior, but it hasn’t helped. Now, they’re trying something different: shame.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Clean India” campaign is seeking to change the idea of using the bathroom in public as the norm. India has been growing rapidly — it’s the world’s fastest-growing economy — and the campaign hopes to bring an end to peeing and pooping in the streets by 2019. The tagline of the campaign is, “Only the habit of using a toilet is real progress.” Millions of public toilets have been built, but for whatever reason, Indian men just won’t use them. So the next step is to see if public ridicule will make a difference.

And the Indian government is using children to do the shaming.

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Billboards and commercials are being put into place across the country, with children saying things like, “Uncle, you wear a tie around your neck, shoes on your feet, but you still defecate in the open. What kind of progress is this?” Another child said, “You may have a smartphone in your hand, but you still squat on train tracks.” And if those pleas weren’t good enough, then there was outright mockery. Children are shown laughing and making fun of men who have appliances like refrigerators, motorcycles, flat-screen TVs, but still don’t use toilets.

India’s caste system is believed to be the cause of the stubbornness of the Indian population. Using a toilet is still considered to be “unclean”, and cleaning up human waste was a job reserved for those on the very lowest tier of the caste system. Indians choose instead to go to farms to relieve themselves, which can cause water-borne diseases. These diseases are the leading cause of death for Indian children under the age of five.

Thousands of villages were given awards over the past 10 years for shifting to using toilets as opposed to relieving themselves in the streets. But without any incentive to continue using the toilets, Indians lapsed back into their old habits. So now, they’re hoping that public shaming will do the trick.

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