I am writing this post in the voice of a little girl from a rural village of India, Babli.
"Hello everyone! I am Babli, a girl from a remote village. Do you want to know my peeing story? I know most of you are shrinking your nose when I say this, aren't you? A few are even ready to click away from this page, right? I am seventeen years old and I will take you through my story.
I daily use a tree to defecate, in my village. I have my own spot to do my job, it's a bushy area. I choose that spot so that no one can see me pulling my dress down to do my job. When I do my job, I am under constant pressure to keep an eye to know if someone is coming. Every two seconds I stand up to check if someone is approaching. If they are, I tell them I am using the spot asking them to wait till I am done. You people in the city, with a toilet attached to a home, won't understand what kind of pressure it is to constantly guard ourselves while we answer the nature's call.
There are sometimes when I try and avoid not urinating for long hours to avoid the stench that arises from the area which we use like our open toilet. Do you know what are problems I am risking by ignoring nature's call? I, Babli, get recurrent Urinary Tract Infection, inflammation of bladder walls and even kidney failure. The only reason I am risking all this is the lack of toilets in my village.
Using such open areas and unhygienic toilets can cause health problems like blindness, mental illness and a lot more diseases. But what do I do? I should either hold it back and get infections or use it and go blind. I prefer infections better to blindness.
Next comes a bigger problem my friends and I face. We go to the open space in the middle of the night, not able to hold it back anymore. That's when these morons come and abuse us. Most of our girls are raped when we go to attend the nature's call.
How lucky would it have been if we were from the city with toilets inside homes. You people dream of houses but we just dream of a toilet to use. You people meditate for peace we just want to do our potty peacefully."
· #ToiletForBabli - In search of hope, hygiene and health
When I read a news about a rape case I was disheartened. You might ask me what made me sad whether it was how brutally she was raped or her age. I would say not both. I have become so numb to such news already. Injecting iron rods into a girl, raping her to death, raping 5 year old, 3 year old and so many such cases drain us of our tears, too. The saddest part of this news was that the girl was raped because she came out to defecate in the open. Reading more about this case I landed in a BBC news report that said that 85% of the rural households don't have access to toilets. They defecate in open.
Loo and Pee are the least talked about human activities. Be it constipation or lose motion, we feel shy to discuss it with even a doctor. But a very big portion of our fellow Indians do that in open. Leave away everything else, just imagine how hard it should be for them to attend their nature's call. People say toilet is the only place they are peaceful and imagine how these people have to constantly be alert so that they are still behind a shade and no one comes close enough. The mental trauma they face day to day is not something small or something we should feel awkward to talk about.
Does our concern just stop with the trauma of people defecating in the open? It's about their health. Even where there are toilets that are not properly maintained people get exposed to various health hazards, infections; where is improperly maintained toilets and where is never cleaned open space used to defecate?
When will this pathetic situation change? We are still just left with a question and no answer.
· 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.
Written as a part of http://www.domex.in/ s initiative with indiblogger.in