Without Toilets, women wait for the dark


Swachh Bharat Abhiyan claims to have constructed around 80 lakhs toilets around the countryside across India yet our Community correspondent Usha reports a completely different picture of what is happening in the Batauwan village of Uttar Pradesh.  Lack of toilets in the village is forcing these women to not relieve themselves till the dark. Even after complaints to the Pradhan of the village there isn’t any viable solution to their serious problem of lack of access to toilets.

This is not just one isolated incident. In the year 2015, a 17-year old girl killed herself because her father refused to build a toilet inside the house premises as reported by The Hindu. In rural areas, the percentage of persons going for open defecation was estimated to be 52.1 per cent as mentioned in Rapid Survey on ‘Swachhta’ Status conducted by the NSSO during May-June 2015 covering 3,788 villages and 2,907 urban blocks.

Whereas on the one hand South Delhi is looking at getting bio-toilet, rural India still struggles to get a proper sewage system which would ensure sanitation, safety and life with dignity. Even after allocation of resources and funds the end result seems to be alarming as either the toilets are getting constructed only on paper and even if they are, the proper dumping and sewage pipelines facilities are not available.

The administration of Batauwan district has shown no enthusiasm towards providing the residents of the village with sanitation facilities. "My father-in-law has requested the village head for toilets several times, but so far, he hasn't gotten any response." Sunita mentions to our Community Correspondent Usha. This problem gives rise to not just open defecation and other sanitation issues that go hand in hand with it but also the matter of manual scavenging. If that is not bad enough then the health problems that arise for these women while trying not to relieve themselves is a matter of grave concern.

Several complaints later, these women are still struggling to live a life of dignity yet no heed is paid to their problems. Help these women of Batauwanwin the struggle and lead a life where basic human right is ensured to them.

Call to Action: Help Usha and her community get access to adequate, clean toilets. voice. Call the Block Development Officer, Jaunpur Uttar Pradesh on +91-9454465277 and demand adequate bathrooms and facilities for the 20 families.

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