I am going to talk about one of the most disturbing, yet common things that you might face when you are in India. A few years ago, two of my foreigner friends came to town, and when we were going around, I noted a young girl, of around 4 or 5, calmly squatting down on the side of the road to defecate. Of course, I was not shocked, but my friends were. They froze when they saw what was happening with open disbelief written all over their faces, and for a few minutes, they could not speak.
Later on, they asked me, why the girl had to “do her duty” in a public space. I explained to them that public toilets were few and far between in the city, and the concept of “Sulabh Sauchalay”, where people would pay a token sum to enter and complete their ablutions was not an option for a huge number of people in India, especially those who live close to, or below the poverty line. The situation does not improve in the villages, where there is a custom of defecating in jungles and fields. In fact, a recent survey showed that the total number of Indians who were defecating in public were around 597 million.
Yes, the number is 597 million. Did you know, this number is roughly forty five percent of the population of India, and nearly double the population of USA? Yes, that is how big this number is. This is one issue that is currently a matter of grave importance, because this particular practice has made people across India more prone to diseases. The figure that you see is a percentage which is far greater than many poorer, and less developed, nations, like Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia. More than half the world’s population who defecate in public are Indians.
This is a situation that should change. People need to be made more aware of the diseases they incur from this practice. Did you know, in India, a huge number of diseases are actually extremely prevalent, and all because of defecating in public? Children contract these diseases much more quickly than adults, and it results in less nutrition getting absorbed into the system, and therefore, more malnourished children continue to live in the world.
One of the best known sanitation brands of the world, Domex, has come up with a unique concept of the “Domex Toilet Academy (DTA) programme”, where you can contribute to building public toilets for people around India by contributing nothing more than a simple click. All you have to do is click on the icon at www.domex.in, and Domex will contribute INR 5/- towards building toilets in villages across India. A little goes a long way, and your contribution can help improve public sanitation and give people toilets that they need, and stop the practice of defecating in public. If you want to clean up India, you need to make sure you do your part to improve it. Check out http://www.domex.in/, where you can check out “You Click Domex Contributes” campaign. Your valuable clicks are all that is needed, so please click, and also encourage others!
Disclaimer: This post is a response to the Indiblogger #ToiletForBabli campaign and you should check out www.domex.in for more.