By Kiran Galani
Critically acclaimed actor, Akshay Kumar, has made headlines once again for his latest film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and the message associated with it. Known for being a part of films of national importance like Rustom and Airlift, Akshay Kumar turned activist again with his latest film that promotes the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan. The film talks about the harms of open defecation and the importance of making toilets available to everyone.
What is the movie all about?
The film centres around the story of a woman who leaves the man she’s married to because he doesn’t have a toilet in his home. The man then struggles to get a toilet built in his town so that he can win her back. Along the way, the story touches upon the struggles of those who live without toilets and how corruption within the government often makes it harder to make toilets available to people. It also raises awareness about the issue in general.
A song that conveys a message
The song ‘Toilet ka Jugaad’ acts as a call for action against the issue of open defecation and its video states several facts related to the issue. While it may come as a shock that the lack of toilets is still such a widespread predicament in India today, the video tells us how India leads the world in open defecation and how 54% of India still defecates in the open.
This means that more than half our country doesn’t have access to proper toilets and it’s about time this issue is addressed. The video goes on to state other problems caused by this lack of toilets such as the risk of millions of women getting raped and the fact that almost 2 lakh children die each year of infection from open defecation.
While this truth is rather chilling, the video does a good job of raising awareness about the issue. Sharing the song on his Twitter handle, Akshay wrote, “Swachh Azaadi aise hi nahi milegi, uska jugaad karna hoga. #ToiletKaJugaad.” This loosely translates to say that we aren’t going to get the freedom that comes with cleanliness without working towards it ourselves.
A step in the right direction
Akshay Kumar did a good job of exemplifying his words by working towards the goal himself. He took to Twitter and expressed, “Taking a step further towards Swacch Azaadi. An organization named Kaya in association with my film has built toilet across the country. Over the next 24 hours, my Instagram stories will be unveiling one toilet every hour. So, keep watching. 24 hours, 24 toilets,” ensuring that he was making a difference on the ground level as well.
This isn’t the only way he contributed to the movement on a ground level. Akshay Kumar and his co-star Bhumi Pednekar also flew to Uttar Pradesh to take part in CM Yogi Adityanath‘s cleanliness drive. The movie was also made tax free in UP which ensures that the message will reach even more people.
It’s about time this issue is taken seriously and steps are taken to solve it and Akshay Kumar’s contribution to PM Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan certainly seems to be a step in the right direction. Let’s hope the film inspires more people to change for the better and take a stance.
Featured Image Source: Flickr