Members who attended Rotary on March 9th experienced a real treat - all to do with toilets! Mark Balla, aka the "Toilet Warrior" shared his moving and amazing story via Zoom, and everyone in attendance went away impressed and inspired. Largely as a result of Mark's efforts, thousands of young people in India and other developing countries, especially girls, have a greatly improved chance of being properly educated and living healthy lives than they did before Mark's work started. See "Read more... for more details and pictures. Mark has given this talk over one hundred times and you can find one example on YouTube at this link: 
Toilet WarriorMark's story is told in his recent book, "Toilet Warrior" which can be purchased online, or by contacting Thea Allan. In essence, on a trip to India for his previous job of promoting Bollywood movies around the world a few years ago, Mark encountered the hidden and widespread problem that many young Indian girls refused to drink water during the day at school because they feared going to the toilet, and whilst experiencing their menstrual periods, they refused to attend school at all. If you saw the pitiful excuses for "toilets" at most Indian schools, you would understand the girl's fear. Mark started to do something about the problem, and a million dollars later, there are hundreds of sanitary toilets in dozens of schools, and the percentage of girls attending school and staying at school has increased significantly. Anyone can help, because for around $1000US, another toilet can be constructed that will change many lives for the better.
Mark has given this talk over one hundred times and there are several videos of him on YouTube - just search for "Toilet Warrior". His complete talk can be found at this link... 
Some further Information on Mark from Thea...
Mark is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central. After a trip to India Mark's eyes were opened to the fact that most schools in India didn't have any toilets and this was preventing children, particularly girls from attending school. It was also causing concern for female teachers who had no bathroom to use the whole day.
At the RI Convention in Seoul in 2016 Mark was elected to the board of WASRAG (Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group). He is a Global WASRAG Ambassador and member of the Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Experts.
Mark learnt how much toilets can make an impact on underprivileged children in India. 75% of schools don't have enough toilets. By changing this, enrolment has increased for girls and the number of girls dropping out of school when they hit puberty has decreased.
His book 'Toilet Warrior' has just passed 20,000 copies with proceeds going towards the Rotary foundation. He has also featured in a TEDX talk called 'Toilet Humour is serious business'