Toilet travails

“When we hear of villages getting open defecation free, we feel our village exists in 18th or 19th century,” says a woman from a village in Varanasi

GN Bureau | November 8, 2016


#Narendra Modi   #Toilets   #Green Gang   #Swachh Bharat   #Open Defecation   #Varanasi  

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Hope Welfare)

“Toilets are being built. I ask, where?” wonders Asha Devi, a 38-year-old native of Khushiyari village near Varanasi. The village in prime minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency doesn’t have a single toilet. Women in the village have been demanding toilets for past two years, without success.

“We have written several letters, tweeted our complaints and run from pillar to post to get at least one toilet in the village. Our letters are never replied. Why?” she laments. This in sharp contrast to the speedy response to a request by a couple from neighbouring Mirzapur who wanted their daughter to be named by the prime minister. The response in that case was prompt.

In June this year, Asha narrated to Governance Now the agony of the women of her village. “Mornings are indeed the worst time of the day for me as I have to walk 5 km every day to answer nature’s call. I have to rush so as to finish off and return before the sun is up. If the sun rises, I have no option but to hold on till evening – no matter what. When I was a child, I remember, I had hopes that villages of our country would be better off by the time I grow up. I am in my late 30s now and there is still no toilet in my home in Khushiyari village [on the outskirts of Varanasi, population: about 3,000]. Such is the agony every woman here has to suffer, day in and day out,” she wrote. Read full article here

Asha says that no one in her village has received the amount (Rs 12,000 allocated for constructing one individual household latrine). “We understand that there might be certain issues with funds and budget. But then the government has also failed to provide public toilets complexes as well. Almost everyone goes out in fields. No NGO, no PSU have come to donate us a toilet because we are a nondescript village on the map.”

Asha leads a nascent movement called Green Gang, named after the colour of their sari. The women groomed by university and college students put a check on gambling and domestic violence. For two years they shifted their focus on getting a few toilets for their people. “We are losing hope now. Some women who were volunteering eagerly earlier have lost enthusiasm,” she says.

 “When we hear of villages getting open defecation free, we feel our village exists in 18th or 19th century,” she adds.

Earlier this year, the chief development officer of Varanasi district had acknowledged the need for 50 toilets including individual toilets and toilet complexes.  Funds for constructing these were never released. Villagers have also signed several applications and sent it to central and state government, but to no avail.
 

Comments

 

Other News

ONGC office wins sustainable building design award

 The state-of-the-art corporate office of oil and natural gas corporation (ONGC), Pandit Deen Dayal Uphadhayay Urja Bhawan,  in New Delhi has won leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) India ‘platinum’ award by US green building council (USGBC), the highest recognition f

Mumbai’s changing campaign colours

Demonetisation was a factor as candidates in the fray for the Mumbai civic polls wooed people. Though the election commission doubled the expenditure limits from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, some candidates found the going hard as there was a weekly withdrawal limit of Rs 24,000. Rs 10 lakh is way ab

Make Godse’s statement public, but don’t idolise him

Nathuram Godse, who was brought up by his parents as a girl in the first few years of his life, has been reviled for decades for fatally shooting the apostle of peace Mahatma Gandhi. What Godse said during the Gandhi assassination trial has not been made public, giving rise to considerable speculation.

First coal rake flagged off from NTPC’s coal block in Hazaribagh

The first coal rake of NTPC’s Pakri-Barwadih coal mine at Hazaribagh was flagged-off by finance minister Arun Jaitley, Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das, union minister of state for power, coal, N&RE and mines Piyush Goyal, and minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha, at Ranchi on

AIMIM to contest Pune civic polls for the first time

“Our corporator is missing,” reads a banner on a defunct lamppost in Shaniwar Peth – a densely populated area in Pune, the second largest city of Maharashtra after Mumbai. Many more sprang up in the nearby alleys, a couple of months before the municipal corporation polls on February 21.&n

How a PSU takes land for mining

On October 1 last year, Mehtab Alam Ansari, 30, who worked as a tailor in Delhi, had arrived in his village, Chepa Khurd in Barkagaon tehsil of Harazibagh district, to celebrate Eid with his family. That morning, he was nearing Dadi Kalan, a neighbouring village, to meet an acquaintance when he heard gunsh

Video

रामदेव को अब 2000 का नोट पसंद नहीं
Digital Transformation Summit

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter