In her native country of India, MSU College of Arts and Letters alumna Kamini Prakash advocates for people who lack one of life's most basic necessities: access to clean, safe bathrooms.
Much of India lacks toilets, running water and sewer systems, and about 550 million of the country's nearly 1.3 billion people relieve themselves in alleys and streets, alongside rivers and elsewhere, Prakash said.
Beyond the sanitation, health and safety risks, this carries humiliation and social stigma. That's what Prakash really wants to address.
India's prime minister launched the Clean India Mission in 2014, seeking to provide access to toilets for all by 2019, among other goals. But "progress is slow," Prakash said, "because we are not addressing crucial issues of stigma and discrimination." The mission has still excluded some of India's most stigmatized groups.