One out of seven people in the world defecate in the open. 2.4 million people in the world do not have access to a toilet. Some of you might have vague memories of make-shift toilets in your villages. In this age when we have state-of-the-art toilets in our homes, it is very difficult to imagine that there are people in the world who have to wait for sunset so that they can answer the call off nature. Lack of toilets cause lot of problem especially for women. Women have to travel outside their house, in the open areas, putting their life and dignity at stake. According to studies there is enough water in the world for the entire population, but there is lack of proper distribution of water. If toilets are built for every house and water is available, then many of their health diseases can be reduces and the quality of human life will improve globally.
For those who have grown up in houses with toilets, while building a house, they spent a fortune to make the toilets the most presentable area in the house. So why is there a divide in the world between those who are aware of the essentiality of toilets and the other who are unaware or do not understand the need of toilets.
Recently there was a story of a woman in Indonesia, who went to stay in her village after spending few years in city. She felt she was spending most of her time looking for space to answer the call of nature for her and her daughter. So she took a loan and built a toilet. Now she has a hygienic surrounding and she has plenty of time to pursue a job to earn some income.
It is the lack of urgency, the lack of awareness and the lack of priority that is denying toilet to a large number of population in the world.
Lack of priority
The day a girl child is born in India the father becomes responsible parent and he starts saving so that the girl can be married off in a decent manner. In most communities even now people are respected for the amount of dowry(gift) that they give their child. If the society gives respect for a person only if there is a decent toilet in his home, then maybe people will include building toilet a top priority. Once in my home town a proposed bride’s family visited the bride grooms house to fix the marriage. Some of the women wanted to get fresh, so they asked for the toilet. They found that toilet was only make-shift and they cancelled the marriage.
Lack of awareness
Defecating in the open causes many health hazards and deprives nutrition in the body. When the people do not answer the call of nature and wait for darkness many diseases occur. Defecating in the open leads to worm infection and other diseases, including diarrhea. Due to frequent Diarrhea the body cannot absorb nutrition properly. Toilet is the basic necessity of life, lack of which lead to diverse hazards in health, social well-being, hygienes and environment.
Lack of Urgency
In a comedy show, a man had Rs 30,000 in hand, and he decided to buy a smartphone. The same amount is required to build a toilet in house. But he was waiting for the Government loan to get sanctioned. Toilets can wait that is what most people think.
We Can’t Wait
‘We can’t wait’ is the motto of this year’s World Toilet Day. Due to illiteracy, lack of funds, Poverty, lack of technical support or lack of awareness, many people in the world are deprived of a basic human requirement.
What is your contribution on this World Toilet Day?
In India Rs 30,000 is required to built a toilet for a family. Organizations like the Sulabh International provided thousands of toilets for people around the world. What is you contribution? Please tweet at #WeCantWait.