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The number is thankfully in decline, but as of 2010 over 2 billion of the world’s inhabitants had never flipped on a light switch. In the U.S. we understandably hurt for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Ricans who may go without electricity for months, and our compassion is magnified by the happy truth that most of us have never lived without it ourselves.
In India, nearly half of its citizens don’t have access to toilets. This is particularly difficult for the country’s women who seek secluded outdoor areas in which to relieve themselves in group fashion as a way of avoiding male assault. India is a brutally hot country in the summer months, but even the citizens of its most prosperous cities largely live without air conditioning.