Home sans toilets

May 9th, 2003, 3pm

Imagine rapes related to sanitation. Sounds bizarre but most Indians have preferred a mobile phone to a toilet because it is cheaper to talk than to pee. The horrific recent rapes in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have one common element: the absence of toilets. Politicians offer laptops instead of toilets.

Ishwarbhai Patel of Safai Vidyalaya in Ahmedabad has been a Sanitation Advocate and his mission remains unfulfilled though he died a couple of years ago.

Government in UP was busy distributing Laptops to those who doesn’t even have toilets or electricity connection at home. We accept this as a model of development? How will these laptops help any beneficiary?

Have you noticed the fine print? It is certainly going to help the company that manufactured these laptops. Imagine a person in a remote village in UP having a laptop. How is he going to increase his knowledge or make a living with this laptop? It will end up as a toy to the toddlers who will destroy it within a month. At the same price of this laptop, a toilet would have helped not one but the entire household. It would have helped them with hygiene, reduced government expenditure on hospital expenses and would have done real development.

But who cares? In UP one government distributes laptops and the other builds statues. During one regime, people will play games and during the other, they will stare at huge elephants. The other two parties, BJP and Congress offers nothing because they know they are not going to be in UP anyhow.

You can read a detailed report about Sanitation in India in The Mint

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Binu Alex

Jack of all master of none. Reckless Thinker, Bad writer, Tech lover, Safe Driver in Dry Republic of Gujarat. 2 decades in print, web and radio. Unglorified tweeter. No Admirers. Unlimited Foes, Endless envy. Not to be loose shunted

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