Tuesday, November 18, 2014

# Toilet for Babli

We wake up in the morning and whine about that dress we wanted to wear to the office, and the servant has not gotten it from the dry cleaners, we can’t choose a pair of sandals because we have so many of them that it takes time to decide and hence we feel, such an awful morning it is! The kid in the house is at the breakfast table and wants to eat spaghetti, and says no to fruits and healthy snacks, and complains that he can’t even have his favorite meal for breakfast, mom! You ruined my day!The little brat of the house is fighting for the remote, because he wants to watch a particular cartoon and his little brother is watching something else.

The wife is being sarcastic to her husband about their trip to Europe, which has been postponed due to certain commitments! The husband owns a decent car, but the neighbor’s friend has a better one and has booked the same for himself, still is sad, because he has to attend a party tomorrow and has to use the old car. And thinks, God!  I live in such a misery.The next morning the wife demands, “Darling, I want a Jacuzzi, You know it has so many benefits, from massaging to relaxation to a calm mind” The husband gently nods!
A healthy and wealthy family, indeed!! Having house help of around 6 people! One of them is Babli, around 13-14 years old! Works with her mother in this house, basically helps her mother and also plays with the children of the house. She is a very sensible child, very sincere with her work and whenever finds time, she takes out the books of 10 year old and tries to read and learn. She left school when she was 8, stays at a neighboring slum. She likes to learn English and listens carefully when the family is conversing in it! She never envies the expensive gadgets, the branded clothes or the home theater or play stations!

All she craves to own is the servant’s toilet of the house, which a basic toilet with running water facility. Because there is no public toilet in the locality, they are forced to go out in the fields, and since she has started to menstruate, it is more problematic for her in those days. And during the night, she needs to accompany herself with a friend or two before stepping out in the fields. She also wants to rejoin her school, so that she can study and apart from the school timings she is can help her mother with the work.

How sad it is, that a child whose fate leads her to take birth in a poor family, subsequently, she has no right to have education, and no right to have even a public toilet in her locality, cleanliness of toilets is altogether a different issue. Even if certain rural areas now have toilets, they do not have running water, people have to fill buckets of water and take it there, and of course no cleaning which only leads to diseases and is very unsafe for females.

And what do we do? We are so self centered that we can’t even share our things with family and friends, forget about helping someone unknown, we all are so busy with our lives, earning more and more, that we don’t have time for charity! We can donate certain facilities at least to our maids, , who help us throughout! But no! when we are already dissatisfied with our lives, even after having all the fancy things, we don’t have time to offer help to those in need! We are busy competing with our friends and relatives, not being thankful for what we already have. No wonder, we feel restless and displeased.

Thanks to various NGOs and certain communities which are working towards it, and take it as their social responsibility. In a similar way, The  Toilet Academy,Domex,HUL’s flagship sanitation brand, currently runs the Domex Toilet Academy (DTA) programme. Domex Toilet Academy was launched on 19th November 2013. It aims to become a sustainable and long-term solution to provide sanitation that benefits the local community and helps stimulate the local economy. The Toilet Academy makes toilets accessible and affordable, while promoting the benefits of clean toilets & good hygiene. Our effort has resulted in bringing the change in the villages of Maharashtra and Orissa and we aim to build 24000 toilets by 2015 in rural areas faced with the problem of open defecation.

India, in the 21st century, still has 597 million people defecating in the open. This is mainly due to lack of sanitation facilities. Lack of toilets and the lack of hygiene amenities are the reason for feeble health and a rise in ailments. Women are most impacted by the lack of sanitation facilities in our country. They face major issues related to health and safety which also impacts their dignity. Blog about #ToiletForBabli and join Domex in their latest initiative to help make villages ‘open-defecation’ free.

This post is a part of the initiative #Toilet for Babli taken by Indiblogger.

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