|At Pandharpur, a pilgrimage town. Source: Wikimedia Commons|
The lines of children, men and women that we routinely see along the railway lines and along dusty city lanes have become the subject of one of the many jokes that are routinely cracked around India. But for the innocent little children who are subjected to numerous health and safety hazards every single day, it's not really funny at all.
Nobody chooses to subject themselves to the indignity of open defecation. It is a result of poor sanitation facilities, which is the responsibility of the government and society as a whole. The following measures might serve to discourage such undesirable practices:
- Public toilets within every kilometre, with minimal or no charge
- Fines for open defecation in an area with access to public toilets
- Awareness campaigns in schools on the need for sanitation
- Fund-raising and petitioning for building more public toilets
Maintenance is the biggest issue when it comes to public toilets. Often, what starts out as good initiatives falls into disrepair due to lack of funds and monitoring. Take the case of railway station toilets in Mumbai for instance. Most of them are absolutely unusable, apart from the ones at major stations like CST and Churchgate. We need sustained efforts to make low-cost public sanitation available at every corner of the country. And we need to change a mindset that thinks urinating in public spaces is completely acceptable.
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.
(This post has been submitted as part of Indiblogger's #ToiletforBabli initiative, in association with Domex)