Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Toilet for Babli

Even though she wanted to go to high school, her father had different plans. They had settled her marriage in the next village and promised he that her new parents would allow her to study further.
Ramani wasn’t a very bright student at school, but she managed to pass  all the exams at year end. She believed she would have a better home, for she had heard the village she is going live hence forth is much developed than hers.
The wedding day was no different than any wedding she attended, Music, feast, guests, and gifts adorned the venue.  She did not feel uncomfortable at her new house. Everyone around her loved cared and showered her with blessings.  Even though she could not directly see their faces, she felt their acceptance in their tone and voice. She slightly lifted her gungat , and turned to her sister in Law. She said something in low voice to her ears, and everyone burst into a laugh when her sister in law announced it to the ladies. Her mother in Law approached her with utmost love, and asked her to follow her to the kitchen. Ramani followed her footsteps to the kitchen, only to find the mother hand over a bucket and plastic mug to her. She pointed to the secluded bushy area behind the buffalo shed. Ramani took no more time to realize, there is no toilet in her new home. In the cover of the bushes, and sad faced buffaloes looking at her, she missed home.

In the largest democracy in the world, 597 million people are deprived of proper toilets. It does not include only villages, but also the homeless or helpless public residing in the deprived part of cities. This might exclude the list of people who use common toilets. In a country where the practice of hiding the face of the bride ensures her dignity is maintained, no proper toilets for her would definitely cause no harm to her dignity.

This could have links to the cultural history of the nation, There was a phase, when toilets and such basic facilities where only blessed to the upper strata of the society, but the lower caste or the so called untouchables were devoid of such ‘boon’.

Statistics say 1 out every 2 Indian does not have proper sanitation facilities. A movement as launched in the remote villages of India to ensure, every home has toilets buit as an integral part. NO TOILETS, NO BRIDE movements witnessed women reject marriage to the homes that did not have proper sanitation facilities

We do not demand a toilet for every home, even though that could be one of the long term target, for the time being, public and common toilets that are ‘use worthy’ . The ones that is clean, hygienic, free and easily reachable.

One such applaud able initiative by DOMEX, #toiletforBABLI is worth giving a chance to. Every Click o the Donate button would donate Rs. 5 to the Domex’s initiative to build toilets for girls and women in the deprived areas.

 Visit this Link and  Click, It help a might just help a girl like you

Sunday, November 9, 2014


The sun was yet to rise, but she was already collecting the bed sheets to be washed. This time she could not be excused for not washing them. She Took care not to touch the curtains as she crossed the passage to the bathroom. There was a door mat that could obstruct her from entering the bathroom However she managed to jump over it and succeeded in entering bathroom without touching them .She unturned the red plastic bucket kept in the dark corner and a steel mug kept beneath it.  Cold water flew in through the taps and being a winter morning, she could feel the chill in her spine. All her life she has hated to bath in cold water in winters. Again she tried hard to Pull the towel out of the bathroom wardrobe without touching others Towel or underclothes.

4.00 am.

Walking through the woods, beating the harsh winter with water dripping through her just washed hair, without a sweater or woolen was indeed a tough task. She heard some chants of Lord Ayappa far away , indicating that some of the pilgrims were coming that way. She walked silently trying her best not to be noticed by them. And then at a secluded spot, she disposed the plastic cover into the pit, and  covered it with mud.
Filled with guilt and negative thoughts all over her mind, She rushed back home.
Fortunately her parents did not wake up. She walked through the pavement as if she was soiled and touching the walls or curtains would soil them too.  It dreaded her to rinse the bed sheets and dry them at the window grill. Wet bed sheets were so heavy. This is when she thanks the inventor of washing attaching for attaching a dryer component to it.

7.00 am

She passed three hours filled with boredom staring at a wall. She sat there silently in the corner with her legs folded and chin stationed on her knees. Only then she smiled, when her mother entered her room with the morning coffee.
Her mother placed the steel glass on the floor and moved away. Lakshmi lifted it with utmost care not to spill the tea, filling the glass to its brim.

“Make sure you wash it in the bath room and keep it beside the kitchen door. Do not enter Kitchen”
Her mother warned and moved to the next room, “And yes don’t touch the curtains”.

Lakshmi frowned. She loathed this part of the year, When her Dad is on his 45 days fast to his visit to Sabarimala and the seven days during that month she is menstruating. She is devoid of life. She cursed her principal for declaring a Study leave in this month, Else she could have spent the entire day in the college. She wouldn’t have to take care not to touch curtains, or not to enter living room, dining hall or the kitchen, or not be treated as an untouchable at her home.

This is the only time of the year; she hated herself for being a WOMAN