Toilet for Bablis of India
India is a country where population explosion is a roaring social issue. Economic imbalance rising out of illiteracy and bourgeois societal norms, gives birth to the striking difference in the living of people in different strata of the society. At one end there is too much of an abundance, while the other end asphyxiates in the darkness devoid of basic necessities of living.
Going back to the economics we learnt in school, need is categorized broadly into three categories, i.e. necessity, comfort and luxury. But this knowledge when applied to the society turns out to have a complete different meaning. Necessity for one becomes luxury for the other.
Again going back to some basic fundamentals of life and living, in Hindi it is said that “Roti (food), Kapda (Clothes) and Makan (Shelter) “are the basic requirements of living. By shelter as I perceive, it means a peaceful, safe place with basic sanitary amenities.
However alarmingly a huge portion of the Indian population, mostly in rural areas do not have the third basic necessity of living. That is they do not have a shelter, a shelter which can actually be called so. They may have a room to sleep and a small place to cook but their so called shelter does not have toilet facility. Defecation in the open is common in such places. But is it actually a safe practice? This issue which might be meagre for people like us who are fortunate to be having access to the basic amenities can be dangerous in ways more than one.
Firstly in a country like India where tolls of crime against women is seeing a historic high. Every day we get to know of heinous crimes against women, how safe is it to send a girl to the open for defecation? Besides it is blow to her dignity as a woman even if it is safe.
Secondly it is extremely unhygienic for both men and women, and can be the transmitting ground of deadly diseases, which can even turn out to be epidemic or national crisis.
I am a Chemical Engineer by profession, and have had experience of working in different manufacturing sites. Manufacturing sites did not have as many women employees a few years back as it has today. So many of them do not have ladies room. I as a female engineer have gone through the agony of walking long distances to get a place to freshen up. While I firmly believe that Government should build adequate facilities in rural areas for sanitation, but we as individuals can also contribute to this noble campaign by contributing to the cause and also creating general awareness.
pic courtesy: Google Images