Mr. Toilet: The World's #2 Man (2019) - full transcript

Jack Sim, aka "Mr. Toilet," is a crusader for global sanitation. Born in the Singapore slums, Sim knows firsthand the agonies of not having a proper loo. Now he's dedicating his life to a crisis no one dares talk about.

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Do you like my costume?

Yes, we do.

The back part is for flushing.

100, 200 rupees a month.

No.

This is very smelly.

Boys do there. Girls do there.

It's a very big problem.

When girls go out
for defecation, many

men look at them
with an evil intent.



Can I try?

Jack is a dreamer.

Just based on my
contact with him,

his interests and
this particular issue,

I think he's quite
a quirky person.

I support his movement
but to me, frankly,

the task for Jack is too big.

Let's take the case of India for
example. It's a huge country.

One billion people

with a very different culture,
different bureaucracy.

Is this the most
important issue for them?

The answer is no.

- How much is that shit pillow?
- Ten dollars.

The color is the
same as your shirt.



My advice would be
look beyond the toilet.

Maybe start with Singapore.

And find out where can
he make a difference.

Why do you want to make
a giraffe on public property?

Our school facility is
ranked first in our county.

From every angle our
school looks pretty good.

Except for the toilet.

There are 12 people in one dorm,
so about

a few hundred
people live here total.

Over 400 people
share six toilets.

- So dirty.
- Look. Look. Look.

- So many of them.
- Yes.

How did you feel
when you cleaned

the toilet for the first time?

Terrifying. It made me vomit.

The black stuff is worm eggs.

What does your
dream toilet look like?

It should be clean.

More convenient.

So will you try to convince your
parents to build a new toilet?

No.

Why?

We don't need to waste
lots of money on just a toilet.

Do your families
have cell phones?

Yes.

You didn't have cell
phones before, right?

Where does the money come from?

The times have changed. You need
to have a cell phone to keep up.

People's minds are very strange.

If you feel that you must have it,
then you can have it.

When you're unhappy
and you go to the toilet,

you'll be happy when
you come out, right?

Every day you should go hug
your toilets on Valentine's Day.

The relationship between
us and toilets is so close.

There is nothing else that has

such a close
relationship with you.

Why don't we want
to talk about the toilet?

Because the topic of
toilet is embarrassing.

It doesn't sound like a
nice thing, right? Poop...

So this has been ignored
for a very long time.

In 2019,
it will be the 150th birthday

anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi
had cleanliness and

sanitation closest to his heart.

People were surprised that it
was a job for a prime minister.

But for me, cleaning
is a very important job.

He was troublesome
for many civil servants.

They found him very
troublesome that you know,

they said this stupid idea of
his he was pushing and pushing

and we had no time for him.

How did you convince the
Singapore government to see me?

The ball and the poo-poo

blend together and get to the

vertical dryers.

The hot air get
from the solar panels

and the high temperatures
will yield fertilizers.

It's very simple.

Making people smile.

Changing your lifestyle.

Smile with me.
Laugh with me.

Make the world happy.

There's no need to
expose yourself more.

Have the privacy
that you wished for.

In the day or night,
Sulabh gives me light.

I invented a toilet in 1970.

And because of that

today , India can think of
stopping defecation in the open.

Thank you, thank you.

You will also get one day.

Jack is a very good man,
doing a good job.

And he's humorous,
so when he speaks, he speaks

about sanitation in
an interesting manner.

But toilet cannot
be a sexy thing.

To which toilet do you
say it's a sexy toilet?

The question is

how much the total cost?

How much the total cost?

I'm just asking question.

What is the total
cost of a toilet?

How much does it cost?

Six thousand dollars.

- Six thousand?
- Dollars.

Wow, that's a lot.

In India, the poor, they have
half a dollar income per day.

And if you ask them to have a
toilet of six thousand dollars,

and so difficult to operate, so
many gadgets, it's impossible.

We feel uncomfortable
when men go there.

So we have to wait
for them to go away.

When men are nearby, we
have to go 30 minutes farther.

We ladies are suffering a lot.

We can't go to the toilet in

public,
mainly during our periods.

They asked us to
pay 5,000 rupees

($70 dollars) to
construct a toilet.

My daughter died of
jaundice and we got into debt.

So we said we cannot
construct it and they left us.

They said,
"You build it and we'll pay

you later." But
we can't afford it.

We won't be able to get a loan,
we are workers.

All of us would build toilets
if someone finances us.

If you get toilets built,
we will

worship you, the ladies as well.

We would put up a
billboard with your picture.

You came to
meet us first. If you

build toilets for us
we'd worship you.

Those people, they might
come and go. But you are here.

See, like that.

No, no. It would be
in the village center.

Many of us are
facing great difficulty.

The sooner the toilets
are built, the better.

We would take your
pictures and celebrate.

In Andhra Pradesh
the biggest problem is

that government
has very limited funds.

They are expecting
a lot from us but our

capacity to deliver without
funds was quite limited.

We need resources because
India is such a huge landscape

with so much variety
and difference in culture.

Kumbh Mela is the
world's biggest fair.

Every 12 years,
they come from every

corner of the
Earth for their faith.

The Kumbh Mela can
create history because

this is the first Mela
with a message.

Clean revolution.

600 million people
in India need toilets.

So this is a great
opportunity to bring a change.

Look at my costume.

It is a toilet.

It's a very good thing
that everybody has done

here at the Shipra River
during Kumbh Mela today.

All of you have taken a pledge.

We believe that everybody
should stick to it,

that we will not
pollute our river

and nobody will
defecate in the open.

We will fulfill all
these dreams.

Please share your
support by clapping.

How do we get
him to let Jack talk?

Cause Jack's
been trying to talk.

Here is not the place.

To empower the country,
to sanitize the rivers

Laugh!

And now, our other very
revered guest here today,

Dr. Jack Sim.

Indian society is so
rigid culturally that had I

made only jokes then what
would happen? Nothing.

A Brahmin in India, in society
his position is very high.

The son of a Brahmin
will be a Brahmin.

But an Untouchable,
in this society

their positions are
lowest among the low.

They have been cleaning
toilets for 5,000 years.

There is no chance of escape.

I used to pick up shit here.

In the rainy season,
it was more problematic.

We used to carry a bucket

full of shit on our
heads. And when

it rained,
it would drip all over us.

Nobody can think of their
emotions, their humiliations.

Gandhi said, "I want clean India

first and
independence later on."

So I cleaned toilets myself,
just

to feel the pain
of Untouchables.

It's totally impossible
to describe.

My whole body was
full of "night soil".

They asked me,
"What are you doing?"

"A Brahmin cleaning toilets?"

My father-in-law was very,
very angry with me.

He said to me,
"I don't want to see your face".

I said, "Look, sanitation
ranks number one in my life.

Even my wife and children
are second and third."

The problem is that you are

building a toilet
just for a target.

But culture takes
time to change.

From 5,000 years,
we've been telling Indians

not to defecate near
their own habitation.

And now you say, "You must
have a toilet inside the house."

Either you build
toilets yourself

or it will take a
hundred years more.

How many toilets do you need?

At least a million.

Jack thinks so big that
sometimes we laugh at it.

If you don't stop him,
he's just like a train.

He'll just go on and on.

One day he's at some festival

and then he's ended up
with some Bollywood star.

How do you then say, "Jack,
I don't need more ideas.

I just need you
to do the project".

What is that?

India is the most important
project WTO has done.

The media has covered us,
the newspaper, the television.

So we need results.

Not just hot air.

But he said for rural,
it's Mr. Kishu.

I don't remember.

I have given you the
list of chosen people.

That's good,
but I don't remember.

It will take another
one week or so, so that

the in-charge
arrangements will be made.

Jack Sim has come all
the way from Singapore.

Jack, if you have any issue,
just speak to me.

I will direct a consulate
person to be in touch with you.

Before we proceed further,
we should have clarity.

We will show it to
the chief minister,

take the approval, and we
will proceed with fastness.

I was appointed co-convener.

I'm supposed to understand
the strategic overview

to advise to you what
is the different gaps.

- Jack, we will talk one day.
- But I have no information.

That is not correct.

Okay.

Jack Sim is in the
beginning of the beginning.

God said bless him to
be a successful person.

But you cannot compare the
WTO and Sulabh at this stage.

After 30 years or 40
years it can be compared.

Who will win.

How many of you
are without toilets?

I am planning,
it might not be successful,

but I am trying to approach

many millionaires
and billionaires

to choose one district

in India, and make a district
free from open defecation.

Every house will have
a toilet. I assure you.

It is not a promise by others,
a promise by me.

Donald Trump is the
president of America.

You can say the entire world.

America is the
strongest country.

So I thought why not
put his name and that

will attract people
throughout the world.

Awareness has been created

that sanitation is
the biggest priority.

And this has gone
around the world.

Now we want positive story.

But for foreigners,
it is difficult to understand.

"So what is this story you
have brought from India?"

That blame will come on me.

But I feel happy because

if you want to
think about others

then you cannot go ahead.

You think about yourself.

You are doing right
thing? Go ahead.

In India, the problem
is he got carried away.

He wanted to do too much.

And we wasted too much time,
too much resources.

And in fact I reach
a point where I say

I think we are quite
tired of your ideas.

Hello.

- Do you remember me?
- Yeah, I do.

- You don't remember?
- Yes, I do remember.

- Do you all remember me?
- Of course!

Let's have a
look at the toilets.

Feces was burnt here before,
right?

It used to be here.

- It is pretty, isn't it?
- Yes, that is right.

There was one time
that we were at the

gym and the toilet
was under construction.

There were so many students.

We were not allowed to enter,
so we

snuck in to see
the new restroom.

Many students snuck in.

They took a peek and ran away.

They were all shocked.

They said "Wow,
this is so fancy".

When my parents came to my

school,
they saw the new restroom.

When they came back home, they

kept talking about
it for two days.

Thank you for all the
support you have given

us. We will study hard
and not let you down.

Thank you.

I wish you a
lifetime of happiness.

Thank you for the new bathroom.

Thank you.

If we build good
toilets in this school,

other schools will envy
our accomplishments.

What's more if China does well,
other countries will follow.

Yes.

Sometimes we think
that we are normal

people who are
incapable of great things.

But the truth is that we
are capable of influencing

thousands through word of mouth,
one person at a time.

- These are...
- Superheroes.

Superheroes.

Will you come back or not?

We can stay in touch.

Okay.

Then in the future,
we can be friends forever.

- Right.
- Good idea.

When I die in twenty years, you

won't be able to
find me anymore.

That won't happen

You'll always be
remembered in our hearts.

Did you write that to Faith?

For me and Jack,
the purpose is the same:

to make India free
from open defecation.

Certainly he will have
to face some problems.

But he can do it.

He can get help from the people.

He may be defeated.

He may be insulted,
humiliated sometimes.

But if he accepts
all these things,

then nothing can defeat him.

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