There is no problem as big as the lack of toilets in India, and that too in the twenty first century. Even as such problems have been a lesser thing of horror in Kerala as I have felt during my travel throughout the state, it has been much more during my journeys through the less urban areas of the other states. There is no difficulty in knowing about the same either, as we can realize that just from the smell itself.
Considering the fact that the situation hasn’t got much better is really a cause of concern. We have gone through so many years after independence, and not much has changed as we can see. The progress that we have achieved is tremendous, but going to Mars and still not having toilets? What does that mean? There are serious health problems which can result due the same, and health is just one of the troubles – as we hope and believe that the new government will take good measure for the same, lets take the case of Babli.
It was early morning, and Babli got out of her room to the terrible smell of faeces. It was a cloudy morning and rain kept on pouring down like it has no other job to do. Babli’s area had not more than five toilets in total for the large number of people who lived around. She knew that India is one of the fastest developing nations in the world, and admired how much progress it had in the last few years – she had learnt about the same. But she wondered why there was no toilet for her.
It was worse when she had to go to school. She had to travel fifty five kilometres to reach the school in heavy traffic. It was near impossible to find a toilet on the way, and the boys always did it on the roadside, and she knew that it would have a terrible impact on her dignity if she would even think about the same. The time taken to travel that much distance was about three hours, and it was sometimes impossible to reach the school on time after waiting in the long queue for the toilet.
Babli knew that what she wanted was not a worship place; temples, churches and the rest of the places for God were not her concern. But the closest church had toilets and the temple also had a toilet for ladies in the premises, and due to the same, she had become closer to God. She never really prayed, but did hope for the abode of any God to appear so that she could relieve herself. She had decided that when she grow up, she would go to a restaurant and have some food there just to use the toilet there.
She knew that India was progressing, but isn’t a toilet part of progress? She wondered. May be she could write about it, but there was no point. She remembered the man who made a speech about it in the school. He had said that a clean toilet is the right of every Indian, and it is very essential for good health. Why was she deprived of her right? Why was he even without her privacy? She continued to ponder over the same. When she asked that man, he had said that there was nothing he could do.
This has been a problem for not just one Babli, but a lot of her friends who lived near her home and also those who came to the same school from different areas. Yes, each and every Babli in India needs a toilet, and it is a basic requirement that needs to be fulfilled before hoping for a lot of other things which arrive in the name of development. But what is the first step to development? It is time we start thinking about the same. Not malls, not multi-national companies, not high profile industries, but toilets for everyone. This is where Domex is doing a wonderful job with their initiative to bring toilets to as many villages as possible.
This is for the Happy Hours campaign at Indiblogger in association with Domex, a writing for “Toilet for Babli” which is part of “You Click Domex Contributes” initiative at http://www.domex.in/. Do click on the link for more on the same. 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 http://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.