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  


“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

Maid in Kuwait

Can you guess the connection between Kuwait and the remote villages in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh? Hint: Wealth lures poverty.    Kuwait has money and jobs, while the villages in AP abound with people who have no hopes of ever making it good. Whatever they may d

Defence secretary reviews progress of aircraft carrier at Cochin Shipyard

Defence secretary Sanjay Mitra reviewed the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) project at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) on Jul 19. During the onboard visit, Mitra was given a briefing on the progress of the aircraft carrier construction by warship production superintendent Commodore Cyril Tho

Govt relaxes production sharing contracts of pre-NELP and NELP blocks, lowers ONGC burden

In order to boost domestic production of hydrocarbon resources, the centre has approved the policy framework for streamlining operations of production sharing contracts (PSCs) in pre-NELP (new exploration licensing policy) and NELP blocks. The policy framework includes special dispensation f

CSIR-NPL wants to develop petroleum certified materials with HPCL

In its bid to indigenously develop petroleum certified reference materials branded as Bhartiya Niredeshak Dravyas, CSIR- National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has signed a pact with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL). It will not only ensure maintaining highest standard quality ecos

31.67 GW of renewable energy capacity installed in last three years

A total of 31.67 GW of renewable energy capacity has been installed through implementation of various renewable energy schemes and programmes in the last three years in the country. Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) has conducted several following studies with foreign assist

An elastic plastic ban

For a ban that arrived with a bang, it seems to be fading away even before it could take effect. The Maharashtra government has backtracted to allow groceries and general stores to continue to use plastic for packaging after shopkeepers associations complained to state environment minister Ramdas Kadam. Al

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter