It’s 6am in the morning. The windows and doors I had thrown open last night to drive out the heat are now the reason why my room is a little too cold. I’m not ready to wake up yet, so I snuggle deeper into my blanket to escape the chill. Only to realize that the realy reason for my discomfort is a full bladder. ‘Ok, let’s get over with this’, I think. So half asleep, I roll out of bed, walk three steps to the bathroom and relieve myself. In a matter of minutes I’m back inside the blankets and fast asleep, unaware that this ‘quick’ trip to the bathroom is a journey that millions of women across India dread every day.
It’s surprising that in this day and age while we’ve successfully managed to send a space craft to Mars, our women back home still have no proper access to sanitation. Dormex India reports that 597 million people today are still defecating in the open due to a lack of hygiene amenities. Looking at these figures in isolation is already overwhelming. But then, to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of the health and safety issue this lack of sanitation give rise to, is simply unimaginable.
The absence of toilets specially impact women because for them gender roles come into play. Society has regulated that women cannot be ‘seen’ by men, thus for most of them defecation is a loss of ‘dignity’ for them. It a bit to prevent this, they resort to relieving themselves in the dark when it’s even more unsafe, and they fall prey to unwanted advances from men more easily. Studies conducted have revealed that some women even resort to limiting their food and water intake to reduce their toilet needs, thus giving rise to even more health issues for them.
And it’s not just women, its children too. Imagine children with their weak immune systems facing the possibility of a multitude of diseases every day. More importantly, it is important to give children access to good public sanitation because as we grow, we become more resistant to change. But if we introduce children to the concept of toilets early on, it becomes a habit, and a good one at that.
In a bid to bring awareness to the plight of these women and address this problem, Dormex India has initiated the #ToiletForBabli campaign. Dormex hopes to make Indian villages ‘Open-defecation’ free by contributing to the building of toilets in villages.
Getting involved with this cause is simple. All we have to do is visit the http://www.domex.in/page and click on the ‘Contribute Now’ tab. For every click, Dormex has promised to donate Rs.5 to the cause.
You know how we keep thinking about changing the world? I think this one click to have the power to change so much more than you imagine. So go ahead, click for a cause, and do your bit to change the world.
The reluctant writer.