Sunita Kumar cleans a community toilet facility in the village of Nimwa in rural Bihar state, India.
Sunita waits for her husband Ramchandra to finish his shift at the community toilet facility where they both work as cleaners. As members of the dalit caste, their options for employment are limited to laboring work. "I think about that all the time," Sunita says of the arbitrariness of the whole system. "If I was born in a different caste, I would have the opportunity to do different work, and people wouldn't hate us."
Sunita supplements her family's income selling colorful baskets at the market in nearby district capital Supaul, 
where some customers throw the money at her rather than risk touching her hand.
As the only caste allowed to perform menial labor like cleaning toilets, dalits are seen as unclean.
Construction nears completion on a community toilet facility in Bhurahi, Bihar built by US-based Sanitation and Health Rights in India (SHRI).
The facility, when completed, will convert waste into electricity that powers a water filtration system.
A young laborer takes a break from building community toilets on a sweltering day in Bhurahi.
Individual household latrines like this one are a rarity here in rural Bihar, and a government program called the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission is ostensibly aimed at providing them. Families who build toilets can apply for a reimbursement of 12,000 rupees (roughly $200) from the government. The problem is that very few of the families who need toilets the most can afford to front that kind of money, if they even have enough land for one. And once they've finished jumping through hoops, going from government office to government office filing the necessary paperwork, the effective cost can be even higher due to days or even weeks of lost work.
The train station in state capital Patna, like many of India's railways, is a common place for people to defecate. Former Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh called the country's railway system the "world's largest open toilet."
A boy returns home with his water buffalo in Sukhpur.
Women work the fields in Sukhpur—a common place for people without toilets to defecate.
A man shields himself from the fierce July sun in district capital Supaul. Open defecation is a problem year-round but
in the summer, intense heat can dry out and neutralize feces so disease is less likely to spread.
In rainy season, it is more likely to spill into and contaminate the groundwater.
The Sukhpur market at night is almost entirely populated by men, as women aren't allowed out unaccompanied.
This can make it dangerous for a woman or girl who must go outside to relieve herself because she doesn't have a toilet at home.

Students listen to a lecture about proper hygiene during a health class at Karanpur primary school.
A women's group meets to study reading and writing in Sukhpur. Lack of access to clean toilets and sanitary napkins in schools
can cause girls to drop out early—some report dehydrating themselves on purpose and skipping meals so they won't need to
relieve themselves outside. In a region where education makes a girl more expensive for their families to marry off,
there's already little enough incentive for them to finish school.
Women interviewed for this story estimated that in this area of Bihar, 50 percent of women and girls without toilets
have been spied on, followed, or assaulted by men while going to relieve themselves outside.
Men sit along the levee in Bhurahi that holds back the Kosi River, a major tributary of the Ganges. The Kosi broke its embankments in 2008 and the resulting flood impacted nearly 3 million people in Nepal and India. One of the worst-hit areas in India was here in Bihar state's Supaul district, where many people were left landless. Landless people are ineligible for toilet funding under the Swachh Bharat program.
Children play in the Kosi River. Many of their families are squatting on government land after their homes were swept away by flooding.
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