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Monday, November 17, 2014

A Toilet for Each Babli

A few years back, we went for a rural India project and, needless to say, on long highways with nothing but wild foliage and occasional eateries, toilets posed a huge issue. When we stopped at one eatery, we realized that the toilet was merely a hole dug up in the ground with a wild fence covered by an old sari. Also, it was really filthy. The boys somehow managed but we girls had come face to face with a nightmare. We found it shameful and offensive to make a circle covering the bare asses of the one whose turn was, waiting for ours. Anyways, with much embarrassment to everyone around, we too managed. At that point, many of us, I clearly remember, had discussed about the lives of thousands of women who have to face this humiliation every day till the end of their lives. Well, bowels, unlike a computer, can’t be programmed and nature’s call can come anytime; worse, when you are having loose motions or such an issue, the matters can take a shameful turn for sure. Even  at railway platforms in the wee hours, one can easily spot women of all ages, sitting because they are forced to do the same, as if a penalty of not having a toilet in their houses.


We Indians are such hypocrites that at one hand we force our women to stay veiled or wrapped in a ‘chunni’ all the time and on the other, do not give a damn about the embarrassment they face every day while defecating in the open. There are still, a whopping 597 million people who do not have a toilet at home. According to BBC, ‘Some 11,000 women would have escaped rape last year if they had toilets in their homes in India’. It is hard even to imagine that 30 women per day were raped only because of open defecation and lack of proper sanitation. A similar data by ‘Sulabh international’ sanitation NGO also accentuates the same finding that in rural India, open defecation is the major culprit behind most rapes.

Another disturbing fact is that lack of sanitation affects women education very adversely. According to a report, more than 30% of rural teenage girls (12-18 years) leave school forever only due to lack of toilets there. The news and sights of open defecation, rapes and lack of sanitation effects tourism too and India, if we have to make a brand out of it, needs a tourism boost and hence sanitation has rather become an emergency for economic development.


Thank fully, there are many such organizations that are working towards making Indian open-defecation free and one of them is ‘Domex’ that aims to build 24,000 toilets by 2015 in rural India. This flagship sanitation brand from ‘Hindustan Unilever Limited’ has started a unique initiative called ‘Toilet for Babli’ where ‘Babli’ represents all the young rural girls forced to defecate in the open due to lack of toilets at home. You too can support and change many lives simply by supporting You Click Domex Contributes’ by clicking ‘contribute’ tab on their website www.domex.in and supporting the online campaign ‘Toilet for Babli’. For every click, Domex will contribute Rs 5 towards making our Indian villages open-defecation free.

So, like clean water, food and sleep, we require sanitation too in order to stay clean, hence stay healthy and contribute towards making India stronger and cleaner.


You can bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing your 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.

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12 comments:

  1. Wow. Almost 2 years in to blogging and today is the first time I found a blog I could really enjoy. I am still to read your other posts, but this one is the kind I would write or would love to read.
    "We Indians are hypocrite. We try to veil women and on other hand is okay with them defecting openly in public." SPOT ON! Never thought about it this way.
    Thank you for commenting on my blog, which brought me here. I am also really passionate about social issues, so your blog would be a treat. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dhara

      You made my day! thank you very muchhh! <3

      I am really glad that you enjoyed the posts!! Yes, Indians are the epitome of hypocrisy and we are shameless in doing such things as well.

      Keep coming!!

      :D

      Delete
  2. Ankita, I've been to villages where toilets have been constructed by the dozen but villagers use them as store houses for cattle feed. :) Unfortunately without proper health education and a strong local involvement, mere construction of toilets have so far failed to solve the problem at least in rural India. Here's an excellent article on the problem :
    http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21607837-fixing-dreadful-sanitation-india-requires-not-just-building-lavatories-also-changing

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    1. Hi Vaga

      hahah! that means Indian love open-defecation!! poor Domex :P

      On a serious note, your are right, education is the key.Thanks for sharing this wonderful article :)

      Delete
  3. Just like USA, every gas station (Petrol Bunk) must be made to have clean toilets for men and woman - no matter if they buy the gas (petrol) or not.

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    Replies
    1. Hi SG

      that's unbelievable!! That is why people flock to USA, due to good quality of life.

      Delete
  4. A brilliant initiative...
    And good thoughts!

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    1. Hi Locomente

      Thanks a lot! :D

      Delete
  5. Great post and great initiative, Ankita! Thanks so much for sharing this. It really saddens me to hear about problems like this one!

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  6. Well-researched and very-well written. it was an eye-opener infact. So many women raped in india just because we do not have toilets? Are there predators all around us?

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    1. Hi Jini

      Thanks a lot. I am really glad you found this post helpful. Exactly, 11000 per year is shameful number and it is the high time we get serious about the issue of open-defecation that ruining our women.

      Delete

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