Toilet tales: Phew, few and raising a stink

shivani

Shivani Chaturvedi | September 15, 2014



In Chennai, there are very few public toilets that we can use and most of them are filthy. For women who work outdoors all day – such as vendors, saleswomen, construction workers and policewomen – there is hardly any facility in the city. Even at government offices, like the secretariat, public toilets stink and are maintained so poorly that one cannot think of using them.

Despite suburban trains being the predominant mode of transport for thousands of women in Chennai, the railway stations lack the basic facility of toilet for women.

In a 2012 issue, Time magazine had pointed to the vast health issues that women contend with in absence of public restrooms. “To avoid the need to urinate, they often withhold hydration, a practice resulting in high rates of urinary-tract infections, heat strokes and other health problems,” it said. This is what most women do. We are out for field work for at least five hours. With no proper toilet facility in public places we mostly avoid drinking water.
The only alternative is to visit a restaurant or stop at a petrol pump. We look for a restaurant, have a cup of tea
there and take the opportunity to use the toilet facility available there.

To tackle the problem, the Chennai corporation has planned to set up special ‘She Toilets’ in 348 locations across the city that are likely to be opened by the end of the year. They will also be the first e-toilets (electronic, fully automated toilets) in the city. The toilets at bus stands, markets and open spaces will have sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators. The most useful feature of an e-toilet is that it flushes automatically even if a person fails to flush. To prevent vandalism and encroachment of public toilets, the She-Toilets will have GPRS devices. Recently, Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation introduced such toilets.

If the Chennai corporation plan takes shape, it will come as a big relief for women in the city.

Comments

 

Other News

70 words that define India, why Doklam stand-off won’t lead to a war, and more

As India celebrates 70 years of freedom, Governance Now looks back and picks 70 words – or phrases, buzzwords, slogans, events – that best define this ancient nation and young democracy. Here, you will find much to be proud of, much tinged with pangs of nostalgia. Then there are entries that

A dose of PPP in healthcare is what the doctor recommends

Dr Kenneth E Thorpe, a professor of health policy and management at Emory University in the US and also the executive director of Partnership to Fight Chronic Diseases (PFCD), says that the government alone cannot do everything. “They don’t have the resources and capacity. So we have to fin

EESL signs MoU with oil companies for energy saving appliances

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture company of PSUs of ministry of power, signed an agreement with oil marketing companies (OMCs) of ministry of petroleum and natural gas for distribution of energy efficient appliances under the flagship Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and applianc

Jammu airport’s upgraded terminal building inaugurated

Union minister for civil aviation, P Ashok Gajapathi Raju inaugurated the upgraded passenger terminal building of Jammu airport.   Notably, Jammu airport belongs to the Indian Air Force, and airports authority of India (AAI) maintains a civil enclave for civil aircraft operat

Election Commission shows it has spine

The election commission has become increasingly assertive in the past few months, showing its mettle in times of electoral challenges.   Weeks after rooting from EVMs and just days after the poll panel declared votes cast by two rebel Congress legislators in the Rajya Sabha e

Is Amit Shah`s blueprint for 350-plus seats in 2019 Lok Sabha elections achievable?

Is Amit Shah`s blueprint for 350-plus seats in 2019 Lok Sabha elections achievable?



Video

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter