In simple words Open defecation is the practice of defecating outside or in public. The open defecation is a big challenge in India. This may be done as a result of mostly having no access to toilets.
The (WHO) World Health Organization and (UNICEF) United Nations Children’s Fund approximate that there are more than 620 million people practising open defecation in the country. Children—already vulnerable and marginalized—pay the highest price in respect of their survival and development. Open defecation is prevalent among all socio-economic groups in rural India though the bottom two wealth quintiles bear the heaviest burden. This well-established traditional behaviour is deeply ingrained through practice from early childhood; it is taught. Other reasons cited for its persistence in India include poverty these people cannot afford toilets, tenants in housing without toilets usually in urban areas, and some deep-rooted cultural and social norms that have established open defecation as an acceptable practice.
India is home to the largest number of children in the world nearly around 500 million Indians are less than 18 years of age. India loses more than 600,000 small children under the age of five year due to pneumonia and diarrhoea. Its almost 30% of the global total. Bacteriological contamination, the absence of toilet-use and sadly poor personal and communal hygiene it including no usual hand-washing with soap at critical times. Exacerbate both of these killers; 88% of diarrhoea deaths are linked to incomplete water and sanitation service provision in our country.
Having a toilet is important for everyone, especially for Girls and Women, its everyone’s basic right access to safe, clean toilets. Every girl free from the need to defecate in the open, they no longer have to suffer the indignity of verbal and physical abuse or humiliation when relieving themselves. Every day we all read in newspaper that rape and sexual harassment are also a risk for many women who wait until nightfall and seek the privacy of darkness to relieve themselves. Women and girls don’t need toilet facilities just for defecation; they also need privacy and dignity when menstruating. The symptoms of menstruation, pregnancy and the postnatal period become more problematic if women have nowhere to deal with them adequately.
Separate toilets at school mean more girls are likely to attend in the first place, and more girls are likely to stay on after puberty to complete their education. In this way we can encourage more girl child to complete their education. Women place a higher value on access to private sanitation facilities than men but this basic thing often remain unheard. There is a real need for facilities which meet women’s physical and psychological demands and preferences, and these can be readily achieved by including women in the design and placement of these facilities.
You can bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing your support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on www.domex.in and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.
This post is for the contest Toilet for Babli