Narendra Modi

A Bollywood star made a feature film about a toilet. Why that's a serious issue in India

A Bollywood star made a feature film about a toilet. Why that's a serious issue in India

In May 2011, Anita Narre, a woman in a remote village in central India, abandoned her husband because he didn’t have a toilet in his house. Now her move has inspired a Bollywood film featuring one of India’s biggest movie stars.

“Toilet: A Love Story,” which stars Akshay Kumar and opened in India on Friday, tackles the problem of open defecation. More than 500 million Indians lack access to toilets, accounting for three-fifths of the world’s population who must go to the bathroom outdoors.

“Hearing the damning statistics linked to open defecation was enough to trigger my urge to make a difference through film,” Kumar said in an email interview to The Times.

“I just can’t...

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