Skip to comments.India's long, dark and dangerous walk to the toilet
Posted on 06/27/2014 3:03:40 AM PDT by LeoWindhorse
The danger faced by women going to the toilet outdoors in rural India was made clear last month when two girls were ambushed, gang-raped and hanged from a tree. But defecation outside is normal for most Indian villagers - so how do they manage?
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.com ...
I’ve seen a lot of stories in the past week or two on this very topic. It seems to be really hot in journalism circles.
But they miss the point. The problem isn’t plumbing. It’s culture. The journalists who believe in diversity and who think all cultures are equal, also think that a government grant to build toilets for villagers would solve this problem.
They miss the point entirely.
Toilets here are readily available, even for poor families, should they want to install one. In all but the largest cities, the toilet empties into a septic tank anyway; city sewer systems are rudimentary at best. So it’s not that they can’t get them. It really is the culture. Most just don’t want one, even the typical “squat”-style ones that are little more than a fancy hole in the floor.
I should note that the 10,000-rupee cost (about $160) cited in the article is a bit steep. The actual fixture itself can be had for maybe 1000 rupees tops, and it is possible to find old fixtures for free. Hiring labor to install one might cost another couple thousand. If one is in the process of building a house, it becomes very easy (and costs essentially no more) to add in space for the toilet, with only a slight increase in the amount of other materials needed. Retrofitting a house does cost more, but again, probably not 10000 rupees.
Granted, though, even 5000 rupees is a lot for some of these people, who live on maybe half that a month.
I will say this too: Outhouses aren’t going to work here. Too many of the local poisonous animals would find an outhouse a very accommodating residence, and a dawn/dusk visit could very likely be fatal due to the confined space.
“They miss the point entirely.”
This whole procedure has been going on in the same way for millenia, dictated by religious scipture.
This is not about being poor, it is about being animals.
nope. In fact I have told my husband that if I ever say I want to go to India, I have completely lost my mind.
Just kill me. UGH. I shudder just thinking about it.
My ViewMaster pics of the Taj Mahal are the closest I will ever get.
... Most just dont want one, even the typical squat-style ones that are little more than a fancy hole in the floor.
During a Med cruise with the US Navy in 1961, and walks through our port cities in Italy, Greece and Sicily revealed courtyards with holes in the ground around the perimeter and flat stones in front of each one. Those areas were approx. 30x30 ft. and open, with no roofs or privacy. Public toilets. .........Also people with cook fires in the streets (more like alleys) living in shelters made from shipping crates and kids running loose like packs of dogs trying to attack US sailors to rob cigarettes, wallets, lighters, etc. .....We never walked with less than four of us, and we still had to fight a few times. ....Hope things have changed since then.
“The streets are dotted with motorbikes and the occasional car, luxury items mostly acquired as part of a dowry.
Kailash’s dowry did not include a motorbike, but her husband has purchased a television set and a satellite dish - even though the electricity comes on for four hours every day at most.
He could probably have afforded a toilet, with the help of a government grant available for this purpose. But while Kailash’s husband treats his wife well, doesn’t drink liquor or abuse her physically, a toilet was not his priority.
“Toilets are not so important for men,” Kailash says.”
I made three Med Cruises during the ‘50s and never saw what you describe anywhere (except in roman ruins) even though the war damage was still existent. But then I liked to drink, went to bars and avoided avoided slumming in the cheap whorehouses. Things must have really gone down hill after I left.
With Obama as President who has a thousand rupees any more?
Yep. It was an eye- (and nose-) opener.
Ding, ding, ding...we have a winner!
I made three Med Cruises during the 50s and never saw what you describe anywhere ...
Congrats on your service and three Med cruises.
I was on CVA-42 (FDR) at age 18-19 on mine. Being a carrier, we were limited regarding what ports we could access, unlike smaller ships.
The three places I mentioned earlier were Palermo, Piareaus and Livorno (Leghorn). .........Had duty when at Tripoli and didn’t go ashore when I had a chance, because of feedback from those who had gone earlier. ....Nice and Cannes France were great and Naples was pretty good, too.
I was on the Saratoga in the Med in 64 and 65. What I recall are the gangs of little boys that octex mentioned and I only really recall them in Italy. They would try to grab a watch off your wrist, grab your cigarettes etc. One of them startled me and I reflexively reached out with my right hand and pushed him with the palm of my hand. I am tall and he was so little that I was reaching down and pushing outward with my palm on his chest. It was purely a reflex action, like swatting a mosquito when you feel the bite, no time to think. I was amazed when he seemed to fly through the air and land several feet away. He was so skinny that his body seemed to have no weight. I felt kind of sick about it but there were gangs of them as octex says and there was nothing I could do to help the situation. I never felt really threatened, they were just little kids, half starved, begging in the street and quite ready to steal anything they could grab. I was twenty years, six foot four and 215 pounds, raised on the farm. Had I wanted I could literally have picked up one of them and used him as a club to beat the rest of them off. They really were pathetic. My eyes tear up now thinking about the condition they were in.
Nice had been a Summer beach spot for well-to-do English since the late 1800s, when Britannia still ruled much of the world. It’s really nice today, though there is a big Muslim quarter that gives me pause.
The first issue is that by leaving the house, it is accepted that the women are fair game for rape and molestation.
A lot has changed. We travel a lot and see a lot of cities small and large. Toilets all over, McKeydees, hotel lobbies, department stores, restaurants. I’m a frequent user and haven’t had a problem.
yep , outhouses can be chancy ....
You stand/squat above and do not dangle within ...
I used to live in New Mexico where there were a lot of rattlesnakes . Just on the chance that a rattler might be lurking down in the dark , I would take my .44 mag Ruger Blackhawk and fire a round down into the pit to discourage any such ambush . The gun powder made the facility smell better too ...
why is it that other South Asia countries do not folow similar procedures? Similar poverty , similar rural lifestyles , similar human requirements ...yet each house or ville take the time to address the needs for facilities and no other people wander about in the open fields with water pots. Water urns next to nice little porcelain low level squatters perform admirably . Everywhere , except Tibet ....
“My ViewMaster pics of the Taj Mahal are the closest I will ever get.”
Good lord,does that bring back memories.
I loved my ViewMaster-—and I’m going back about 65 years.
Manava Dharmashastra and others.