Tuesday, June 14, 2011

to Pee or not to Pee!

is the question, which a vast majority of indians have been asking. silently though. and sadly many the officials have turned a deaf ear to all the silent cries.
ok, leaving the frill and the jazz behind, lets come straight to the point. we do not have public toilets. period. go anywhere. or rather do not. I will tell you where should you go. and no, i am not even talking about the rural bus stands and tourist spots. I am talking about normal roads, in cities like Mumbai. I am talking about railway stations, where millions dwell, about restaurants, where there is not even a smallest allocated to the function and most incredulously, I am talking about the airports!

India does not have public toilets, barring the sulabh ones. and those too, are in ridiculously small proportions. and whatever small number is there, they are dirty and perpetually unusable.Is everybody under the impression that indians do not need to pee, or they have some yogic power through which they can exercise unlimited control over their bladder? I do not see any logical reason that the government or even the private machinery should not build any public toilet.

in past few months I have travelled to various places, tourist places or even the obscure ones. I have used all modes of transport, including the airway. and I did not find the condition of public lavatories well. and as anybody an guess, the worst sufferers are women. men, lets accept it, can and do it anywhere. women, on the other hand, are constantly in search of a public restroom, with a painful expression on their faces and their bladders full. also, there is a feeling of shame associated with the idea of looking for a loo, which puzzles me. what is there to be ashamed about? but anyways, point is that women suffer. and just everywhere. on normal city streets, a woman can not go to loo, coz there do not exist many. on a railway station, she can not go coz it is eternally locked or blocked. and on airport too, she can not go! I am stressing the airport time and again coz I have been through this mission on Pune airport. out of 3 cubicles one was without a tap and other two did not have door knobs. now when you pay several thousand for the airfare and then you buy a sandwich at astronomical prices, are you not supposed to get a decent loo???? usually airport is that one place where the rift between haves and have nots is clear. but in this context, both await the same fate. no loo, no convenience. (exception would be delhi airport T3)

the scene at women's health statistics is not favorable. many indian women suffer from urinary tract infections, and medical experts sight this problem as a common cause. in a city like mumbai, how a working woman suffers coz of this issue is humiliating. indian women can not usually pee as and when they want. isn't that a horrible thing to have? there are already so many public health issues, which are bigger a concern. cant government see some sense and build public lavatories, which will be of use to people? and eventually this will definitely reduce the filth and dirt on the road!? or is that asking for too much?

I know, that in the light f corruption, religious politics, hunger,poverty,wars, world peace, nuclear powers and economic crises this does not get a priority issue. but well, at least somebody could turn their ears to it. to be or not to be is a tough philosophical one, but to pee or not to pee does constitute a part of overall well being, isnt it? :D