Going from village to village in India to promote the use of toilets that use worms to break down fecal matter, the team from the Institute for Transformative Technologies (ITT) found young girls to be their biggest champions.
The girls, who came with their mothers, quickly understood the merits of these so-called Tiger Toilets, and were eager to have them installed in their homes for privacy and safety.
“We found the family is very influenced by the girl child’s opinion on these toilets, and that they are also instrumental in changing the family’s behaviour, which is key to their use and adoption,” said Nupur Kapoor, head of ITT’s India operations. “Young girls are better able to communicate how the toilets address their concerns of privacy and safety, which older women may be shy or ashamed to talk about,” she said.
Hundreds of Tiger Toilets have been installed in rural homes in India. They are among several social innovations that are benefiting villagers while also empowering women and making them feel safer, even if these are not the primary goals.