NEW DELHI/GADOJ, India -- Sharmila, a 40-year-old mother of four, waited most of her life to achieve her dream of having a toilet inside her house. Until a little over a year ago, she and her two daughters, who live in the village of Gadoj in India's northwest, had no option but to take a lengthy walk to a field to answer nature's call. These trips often were made either before sunrise or after sunset in order to have a modicum of privacy.
"Life was one big struggle,'' said Manisha, Sharmila's 20-year-old daughter. "We used to go out in the dark [in groups] and look for a place to go where no one could see us in that position. It's a sea change now."