I was traveling to Kolkata by train when I saw a lot of people defecating in the open in early morning times. Most of them were men but I did see one woman too. Let’s face the reality in India, we do pollute the mother nature in various ways, one of which is this. I felt sad for these villagers and did not understand why they could not even afford a toilet? Is it a compulsion for a monetary reason or is simply lack of awareness. Truly speaking I could never muster the courage of going to treks because of the fear or rather detest of defecating in the open.
When this issue first came to my mind I thought of Powerof49 campaign which among many lies also brought up this issue of building one crore toilets in villages. But their demand was only for women and I renounce that as a citizen as this problem affects men too. A clean habit is the need of the hour for both sexes and also for our environment.
When I visited Powerof49 website to check out their statistics to my surprise I found that they have shown that Badaun rape case was due to lack of toilet there. It was told on the website that the girls who were murdered were out to relieve themselves. We know that the murder of Badaun is already PROVED to be NOT a rape and already the five people who were initially arrested are in the process of getting bail. Now CBI also has conclusive forensic evidence that it was not a rape and thus they had dropped the idea of exhuming the two dead bodies for further examination. (Click on the image from DNA website to know more)
But Powerof49 website still displays the story of how the two girls were RAPED in Badaun
So we see that Tata Tea and Powerof49 and Jaagore are spreading yet another lie in order to prove the need of toilets in India. I know that this demand came from them much before the Badaun rape case as this was one of the main demands in their election manifesto (6th point to be precise). The Badaun case was added later on their website to bolster the demand for women’s toilets. This shows that how these campaigners are using rape as a tool to be in headlines but this was completely unnecessary.
Coming back to the main issue of having toilets in all the places, we can’t ignore this demand in any manner. Whether it is in villages or in metro cities or in other public places we need toilets everywhere, not only for women but also for men. When I see men urinating in the open I really feel for women and for mother nature. But most of the time it is our compulsion and to stop this we need to have toilets in every nook and corner of India. Maybe even one crore toilets in one year are really less for a country like India.
We have another real concern when it comes to access to clean and hygienic toilets. Many national and international studies have shown that most of the adolescent girls drop out of school due to lack of clean and hygienic toilet facilities in their schools. Since these girls from poor families can’t afford the luxury of sanitary pads or tampons they drop out of the schools when they reach puberty.
Some of the points to ponder over are –
- 215, 000 children in India die of Diarrhoea. (No mention of the period)
- India has the highest number of under-five death globally. (I understand this may be for many other reasons as well and not necessarily due to Diarrhoea).
- 626 million Indians defecate in the open
Let’s have a clean and green India and as our PM Narendra Modi Ji has said, let’s have a “Swachh Bharat”.