Geetanjali Minhas | September 13, 2014
Bursting at its seams, India’s financial capital is marred by inadequate public infrastructure. Ironically, our municipality (the richest civic body in Asia) and our administrators have not been able to provide the bare minimum facility of toilets for its population, mainly so for women. For a journalist, travelling by public transport or walking down the road, rushing from one place to the other is a routine affair, but lack of public convenience poses a grave problem. Besides unbearable stench, a majority of public toilets do not have doors, taps, water, buckets, ventilation and electricity, making them extremely unhygienic and the women vulnerable to attacks from drug addicts and criminals lurking in the area.
Of Mumbai’s 1.3 crore population, 80 lakh live in slums and depend on community and public toilets. In these slums, women standing in queues with mugs of water outside community toilets are subjected to lewd stares and comments.
An Observer Research Foundation survey on sanitation facilities at Mumbai’s 109 suburban railway stations between December 2009 and January 2010 revealed ignominious shortfall of toilets and their dysfunctional and deplorable condition. Nothing much has changed since. Few functional toilets that are available are either locked or blocked with debris and other building material. The busy Churchgate station has many food stalls next to a stinking public toilet. Most working class women prefer to use office toilets before leaving their workplace or go to a restaurant, five-star hotel and any such place to use a clean washroom whenever possible.
“The Brihanmumbai municipal corporation’s (BMC) own circular says women should not be charged for using toilets, but irrespective of that women are charged '2-5,” says Mumtaz Shaikh of Right to Pee Campaign initiated by Committee of Resource Organisations.
Mumbai has 113 urinals, 5,136 water closets and 61 bathrooms for women, but clearly it is not enough.
Even as Mumbai fights challenges posed by COVID-19 on multiple fronts and as the coronavirus cases continue to rise daily, the city now faces a double whammy with the cyclone ‘Nisarga’ slated to make the landfall in Maharashtra Wednesday. A state-wide alert has been issued for Mumba
Probing data concerning increased job creation and the decline in unemployment has been holding the attention of economists and been subject of discussions in several think tanks in the preceding months. The NITI Aayog reports that 3.53 million new jobs were created between September 2017 and February 2018
With Lockdown 4 ending Sunday, the home ministry has issued new guidelines to fight COVID-19 and for phased re-opening of areas outside the Containment Zones. The guidelines, issued based on extensive consultations held with states and UTs, will be effective from June 1 till June 30. The first phase of reo
When the whole world is fighting COVID-19, food and nutrition security has become a major issue. The pandemic has aggravated the existing food crisis in India, especially in rural and tribal regions. There has been less availability of fresh foods in most parts of the country, and the tribal community has
India is determined to “set an example” for the rest of the word in the post-pandemic economic revival, prime minister Narendra Modi has said, underling the need to become self-reliant. “There is also a widespread debate on how the economies of various countries, including
Close to 48 lakh migrant labourers have been able to reach home from the cities they were working in, as the Indian Railways have run a total of 3,543 “Sharmik Special” trains from May 1. Following the home ministry order regarding the movement by special trains of migrant worker