She held 2 pots in her hand walked many miles. She filled the pots & began her walk back in the scorching heat. They were so heavy that her little frame sagged due to its weight & the sun’s heat. By the time she reached, the pots would be half empty. How much could a 7 year old carry?
“Babli! Stop talking to all the people and come and help me!”, her mother called her.
They lived in a small hut that had a ceiling for namesake. The entire hut was one single room. There were no sub-divisions. What about their sanitation you ask? They had no such facilities. They had to go into a wasteland and answer nature’s calls.
In spite of her age, Babli was her mother’s right hand. She did all the jobs that an adult would do. Sometimes she even accompanied her mother to memsab’s house and help her with the chores there.
There were times of the month when they couldn’t afford even one meal a day. Babli never complained. She understood her mother’s efforts. She understood that they were poor and that she had no right to complain. But that day, Babli felt sick. Very sick. Her stomach hurt badly. They hadn’t eaten for 2 days. But the stomach ache overpowered the hunger.
What do you think happened? Hunger and poverty are surely the problems suffered by the poor. But many of us do not realise that lack of toilets and pure drinking water pose a serious threat to their lives. That is what happened to Babli in my story. There are many germs in human faeces. When there is open defecation, flies and insects feed on the same and spread innumerable diseases around. Similarly, these germs seep underground and cause waterborne diseases.
This is not just Babli’s story. Babli represents n number of children all over the country. They lack proper toilets and clean water. If they have to attend nature’s call, they must find an open space.
Speaking of open space, can you fathom the threat this poses to women in particular? In UP many rape cases happened when girls went into the field that was used as a toilet area. They have to fear and think before accessing a basic necessity. Imagine your state when you have to attend nature’s call but think twice before that whether it is safe or not? Men get to urinate on roadsides in spite of having ample facilities while the rural women have to think twice. Pathetic!
And what more do I say during those times the women are menstruating? It is very unhygienic if they have no sanitation facilities available. And trust me when I say, India still has 597 million people defecating in the open. How many of this would be women?
You could help in Domex’s endeavor to make villages ‘open defecation-free’. That too just with a click. All you have to do is, go to this link http://www.domex.in/, click on to ‘contribute now’ and enter your mail id. That is it! For every click, domex contributes Rs. 5 to make India ‘open defecation-free’.
Will you help Babli find her toilet? I just did! 😀
This post is a part of IndiBlogger’s Happy Hours activity in connection with Domex.