This year , i visited my husband’s village for the first time. Everything about the village life was so wonderful and refreshing. While returning one evening from neighboring village, I saw so many ladies walking into the fields with water bottles in hand. It did not take me more than a minute to realize that they were going for nature’s call.
This further made me wonder was if these people have to wait for the daylight to fade and search far and wide for a space where they can defecate without bothering of stares of others ~ men and women alike.
At what age will a mother tell her daughter not to defecate in open but rather search a hidden spot or wait for night to do that ? That felt so unnatural and sad too.
For the first time, I actually felt blessed that our village home had a proper toilet and my family had inspired and asked others to do the same for the sake of their daughter’s and sister’s dignity. While that is not a really valid reason to have a toilet in your home or perhaps a common toilet for set of houses, it is a very strong excuse to motivate people I feel.
But that IS NOT going to make much difference unless majority of the village stops open defecation.
As per my understanding , the two reasons people do not readily agree for toilets is that they want it far from the living / eating spaces. And other is affordability. With land becoming scarce and houses getting smaller, the proper waste disposal and avoiding the stink is major concern for people who do not realize that defecating in open will attract flies which then travel to their living and eating spaces to cause diseases. Childrean are most affected by these diseases which lead to many deaths if not permanent damage to physical and mental health. The villagers do not realize that they are causing harm to their families that is going to affect the generations to come. The unhealthy kids become unhealthy adults who are less productive and so earn less and spend on medicines and treatments of their family.
Also, without proper treatment if this waste, the whole area starts stinking making it unfit for any use whatsoever.
The affordability issue is a one time excuse and can be handled either by sponsoring the toilets and then educating the people that they would be saving money and time from the treatment of their families. Infact , with falling immunities and poor nutrition being common in poor families, half of these kids are going to be affected by open defecation.
After my return from the village, I had almost forgotten about this until I read about Domex Toilet Academy. 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.
A basic functional toilet will cost some where about 2~4k. While this amount can be too much for a poor family, many of us can contribute a bit and make it happen for so many villages.
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.