Monday, November 17, 2014

Natures call #ToiletforBabli

Its 6.30 am, 
Am in the comfort of warm porcelain. The news paper has been replaced with a swanky tab that keeps me entertained while things process. A new prompt for Indiblogger arrives.  Toilet for Babli, it reads. Every day , about 600 million people defecate out in the open. To help you put that number in perspective , its equal to the number of active What's app users around the world.

The figures make me uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because I know it’s an issue , I know it’s a problem , and I know many more privileged like me I have never even given a second though. But the problem persists and ignoring it just doesn’t make it disappear.


Since I am no sanitation expert I referred to Google to help me gain some insight. At first I thought that health is the only hazard posed by open defecation. I came across issues like various diseases, most notably diarrhea and intestinal worm infections but also typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, polio, trachoma and others find it traces back to open defecation.

For example, infectious diarrhea resulted in about 0.7 million deaths in children under five years old in 2011. It can also lead to malnutrition and stunted growth in children. Around the world open defecation is a leading cause of diarrheal death; 2,000 children under the age of five die every day, one every 40 seconds, from diarrhea .
Young children are particularly vulnerable to ingesting feces of other people that are lying around after open defecation, because young children crawl on the ground, walk barefoot and put things in their mouths without washing their hands.

Understandably open defecation is a ticking time bomb. But it’s not just a question of health but also a question of safety. Mainly women. The situation grim and requires attention. Women need to venture out in odd hours to answer natures call  and are just sting ducks for crime. They are robed of their productivity , dignity and their safety just because they don’t have a safe place to go. Google animal attack’s and rapes related to lack of toilets and you will be in for a shock.
To help you put things in perspective I have summed up startling facts and figures to give you a quick understanding of the flushed out state of women is in our country.
According to statistics,
    • As of today India is short of 636millin latrines.
    • On a given day women around the world with poor sanitation systems spend more time looking for a safe place to ‘go’ than the whole world spends on YouTube. Only if that time was put to better use.
    • The situation is more venerable for women, as over 66% rapes in India occurred in the last decade when women and little girls were out at odd hours answering natures call and were easy victims.
    • Below the moonlit sky , with beetles and crickets for company they have to venture out in the open filed to relieve themselves. But never really sure of who is watching. Who is ready to make them their next target. A wild boar, a hyena or a sick pervert. Easy prey.

    The situation need attention and it needs attention now. The government and independent bodies are both doing a considerable job to make the situation better. But with a mammoth problem like this one, it need all the help it can get. Realizing this urgency the Corporate sector is coming forward as a part of their social responsibility program and making India a safer place one flush at a time.

    One such commendable initiative has been take over by the leading giant HUL. Domex, HUL’s flagship sanitation brand, currently runs the Domex Toilet Academy (DTA) programme. Domex Toilet Academy was launched on 19th November 2013. It aims to become a sustainable and long-term solution to provide sanitation that benefits the local community and helps stimulate the local economy. The Toilet Academy makes toilets accessible and affordable, while promoting the benefits of clean toilets & good hygiene. Our effort has resulted in bringing the change in the villages of Maharashtra and Orissa and we aim to build 24000 toilets by 2015 in rural areas faced with the problem of open defecation.

    Collectively , things can get better and you can help too. You can bring about the change in the lives of millions of women and kids, thereby showing your support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.
    Thank you.


    Sneh Asnani said...

    The cartoon says it all in one word.. sorry state of affairs in India

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