Over 60% of the Indian population does not have access to toilets and still defecates in the open. That’s at least 780 million people. In the Indian village Marora, only 20 to 40 of the roughly 160 homes have toilets. In order to improve this unfortunate situation, the toilet-building charity Sulabh International decided to try and bring attention to the issue – by renaming the village to Trump Sulabh Village.
In return, Sulabh International promised to build free toilets and sanitation and hoped that the curiosity of being called Trump village would bring donations and more help to the village. "Such a step might spur rich people, companies and other donors to come forward and donate money," said the founder of the charity, Bindeshwar Pathak. The name change was to be purely symbolic and nothing official.
The villagers happily agreed, despite not quite knowing who President Trump is, because of the village’s need for toilets, as well as roads and a community hall.
However, local officials are now objecting to the name change and considering it illegal. As a result, all banners of the new name and pictures of President Trump that had been on display around the village have been removed.
Since the name change was only done as part of a publicity stunt, the charity and village never asked for permission or applied for any legal changes.
Villagers feared that the officials’ interference would prevent them from getting free toilets, but Sulabh International confirmed that their charity work will take place either way. Pathak theorized that the removal of the Trump signs was due to the attention they were bringing to the issue of open defecation in the area, as the area had previously already been declared open-defecation free. Despite the declaration, the village and surrounding areas still evidently have a sanitation problem.