below: Sam Singh, one of the toilets already constructed, and a view of the interior of a Sulabh toilet.
Karanpur is a small, poor farming village in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is also the home of Pardada Pardadi girls school.
Pardada Pardadi was founded by Virendra "Sam" Singh, a sixty-eight-year-old American citizen and chemical engineer who left India in 1960 and returned in 2000 to invest his savings in a school for girls. Eight years later, the school enrolls 700 lowest-caste girls aged 8-21 from 43 surrounding villages, teaching them academics along with health, hygiene, money management, legal awareness, and life-changing vocational skills.
The practice of outdoor elimination is universal in rural India, as the villagers are too poor to afford even the low-cost Sulabh toilet. For reasons of modesty, women and girls must defecate only under cover of darkness.
Sam Singh has a nearterm goal: to raise enough money to build 43 Sulabh toilets in the village of Karanpur; and a far-term goal: a toilet in their home villages for each of the 700 girls enrolled at Pardada Pardadi. A toilet costs $250 to build -- you can see progress toward the goal at PoopReport. The post has been up since April 29, 2008, and was BoingBoing'ed on April 30--as of 10:46 AM PDT, five toilets have been fully funded. Click here to donate or use the link at the PoopReport
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.