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.
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