In the past few days I have spoken a lot about toilets that I feel like using Domex or Harpik on my own blog. Jokes apart, we, bloggers, along with indiblogger have spoken so much about how the absence of toilet in rural India causes trouble; from urinary tract infection to girls getting raped.
During tea breaks and free time, we talk a lot about social issues, debate over it and have fun. We do and we can't deny it. If a girl was raped a group talk taking the girl's side and how unsafe a place India is and the others take the side of how the colour of the lace in the shoes of the girl provoked the guy. We are all good at talking. Do we really have the power like the Shakthiman we fancied as a child or the super man who fascinated us after we learnt to understand the dialogues of English movies? We don't. So why blame ourselves for not taking actions, poor us. Powerless common man. We are not just powerless, we becomes spineless and at times senseless too.
But none of these talks would have ever focused on the sanitation issues that prevail in the country, only because talking about toilets doesn't make you look cool; only because one can't talk about it while eating. Even if someone does the other suppresses his voice by calling him/her a nasty person.
So we really understand the seriousness of lack of proper sanitation? If we do, I am sure, we will start talking about it; the best thing that we can do. 2.5 billion people have no acess to a proper and "SAFE" toilet. 2.5 billion doesn't convince you enough to consider it an issue of prime concern? Let me talk further, then. 5000 children die every day due to this problem. 1.5 million deaths a year is recorded due to improper sanitation; 1.5 million "Preventable" deaths. In the last few decades people have shown less interest and least investment in this sector of sanitation which is a very saddening truth. We live in a country where we call Gandhi as our nations father. We say we follow his foot-steps. Almost, every school, police station and government office have his photo hung. But we have long forgotten what he dreamed of. A country of good sanitation, removal of untouchability and discrimination. Our father of India had dreamed of a good sanitation so many years ago when many diseases caused by poor sanitation did not even take birth or had a name and we, loyal children of the father, are yet to even focus on the dream, let alone fulfilling it.
Do you know how many centuries our toilet system dates back to? When the west have always been using papers and sticks to cleans themselves after the nature job, we always believed in cleaning with water. Not just there but our hands and legs. Most of our customs and tradition were brought into practice by our ancestors keeping in mind a scientific value attached to it; mostly a health reason attached to it. When our grandparents say we need to wash our legs and hands after using the loo we criticise them. We try to educate the already well-educated generation about the dry toilets, western toilets, how we don't use our hands or whatever shit about the shit. Don't we? Then the grandma would very pleasingly beg us to do so saying 'Shani bhagavan' would get on to us giving us all bad luck. 'Shani' bhagavan I guess was an image of cleanliness. Those days they had the toilets far from the homes at the back, now we prefer toilet attached bedrooms. Let's not blame ourselves for all these, we need to run with the wheel of life that spins along with time. I agree. But we need to retain the sense of cleanliness our previous generation had and tries to descend to us.
Sanitation and hygiene begins at home, from within you.
Getting westernised is okay, but using water is really our way,
We clean the toilets not for us, we wait for the relatives to board the bus.
Only during baths we wash our hands, rest of the time we rub it on our pants,
We think it's cool not to take bath breaking the rules, we are just becoming big fools.
Hygiene is a word hard to spell I agree, but let's keep that in mind at least to a certain degree.
I don't want to write more just to make a rhyme pyramid, so let me stop the poem in the midddd.
So be a complete Indian at least in the toilets and on the dining table. Wash your hands clean after visiting the former and before visiting the latter. Don't get the problem head from the tail and descent to tail from the head; better remained unexplained.
Okay, now it's time for me to go clean the toilet in my house. :) See you in another, hopefully interesting, post.
As a part of http://swachhindia.ndtv.com/ contest conducted by indiblogger.in.