I enjoy Travelling and love exploring new places. However, one of the biggest kickbacks that prevent me to venture outside or explore a new place is my apprehension. NO I am scared of going out but what I am scared is using a toilet outside my house. A trait that I think, that has kind of passed on a little on my daughter as well who loved going out as a kid but as she started growing, she became even more rigid to travel esp to places that were unknown. When I say unknown, it is not the “Xenophobia” that I am talking about. I am not sure whether there is a term for it or not. The apprehension is about using common toilets or not being able to find a right toilet in vicinity. When I said right, I meant two things-
1) A western closet
2) A clean and dry, western closet.
My daughter was not always like this. She was highly adaptable and could adjust in any kind of place that she visit. She would spread so much cheer that where ever did she went, people insisted on letting her stay back. These days, such is the condition that if she has to stay at some place, apart from emotion, she would see the above two pointers for sure. After all, personal hygiene like using toilet, taking bath etc are totally non negotiable, non avoidable human deeds. My daughter met with an unfortunate road accident and lost her limb. She uses artificial limb and cannot use any other toilets but WC. And post her accident she became painfully cleanliness freak. I cannot blame her. Cleanliness, health and hygiene are her birth rights.
I still recall the conversations that I used to have with my daughter. “Mom, Mom are you listening me? I have been talking to you from sometime. Please respond” asked my 15 year old who wanted to visit her grand mom’s house but was worried about how to use toilet there. She was rather paranoid and wanted me to check with uncle if he has got a WC toilet built for her as promised. And if for some reasons, the toilet was not yet ready, she would like her mother to convince her father to book a hotel in vicinity which she can use mere for sanitation purposes. I could understand her need and her ask. She was not wrong, neither selfish.
That was about my daughter but it brings me to a large issues of other girls especially children in India. The part of tribe who did not know what is a “toilet” or have access to any toilet or are made to use a toilet that could be at least hyginic for them.
Babli ke liye Toilet kidhar hai?
My thoughts shifted on different aspects as well. What if the girl child is going through menstruation cycle? what if the child, like my daughter suffers from physical disability? What if, by using unclean and open toilets children fell sick and have to let go of their lives? What if? and Where?
Where does 597 million people of India go to answer the call of their nature? Well as per recent stats, they go to open areas, grounds extra to defecate in public. Its not funny nor joke but a serious threat. The country is building Metro, high end multiplexes, offices, studios but why there are not sufficient toilets? Why open defecation is still legal in India? If it were to non-legalized and proposed for formal civic offense, what is the measure to be taken to ensure that no more open defecation are made/allowed in this country? Simple. Build more toilets.
Why build more Toilets?
Well if you do not have sufficient toilets for the population, following could be health impact due to lack of sanitation-
- 20% of deaths among children under-14 are due to diseases caused by poor sanitation and hygiene.
- Almost 28 million school children across India do not have access to school toilet facilities.
- 7 states in India (Orissa, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar) account for almost 50% (13.8 million) children without access to toilet facilities in schools.
- Only 6 per cent of rural children less than five years of age use toilets.
- 443 million school days are lost every year due lack of access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.
- India has the highest numbers of under-five deaths globally
Do participate in the “You Click Domex Contributes” initiative at http://www.domex.in/. With every click you make, Domex will contribute Rs 5 towards building toilets for any Babli, Jimmy and Shyam that you know or you may know but still exists. We do realize that with small – small contribution that we may make or steps that we may take in this direction can help bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing our support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on www.domex.in and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.