Naga Chokkanathan

Everyone Should Contribute

Posted on: November 18, 2014

Ravi and his family were driving to Mumbai. It was a nice road and morning breeze was amazing.

Suddenly, Ravi’s son Aadharsh started laughing. He pointed to something on the side of the road and continued to laugh.

‘What’s the matter Aadharsh?’ asked Ravi.

‘Papa, I saw a man defecating in the open. Can’t he use a toilet?’

Ravi sighed, ‘Aadharsh, he may not have access to a toilet!’

‘What do you mean? Every house has a toilet or two!’

‘Not really. You have only seen one side of the story; there are millions of people in India who don’t have a toilet at home.’

‘You must be joking!’

‘I wish I am’ laughed Ravi. ‘But, it’s real. In the same city we live, many lack these facilities. Villages have a bigger problem. Poor people there either don’t have the space or the money to build a toilet. They don’t even have a public toilet which they can access. Even if a public toilet exists, it is too crowded, or not clean. As a result, they are forced to use open spaces like these as toilets.’

‘But, don’t they feel ashamed about it?’

‘Of course, they do. It is shameful, unhygienic, but what can they do? They don’t have any option. In a way, we all should be ashamed about this!’

‘Why? I always use a toilet when I have to!’

‘May be, but as a country, we should feel bad about not doing anything about getting the basic sanitation needs of these people. Many individuals and public, private organizations are doing something to help them. They take a village and construct toilets there. They even appoint a person to clean it regularly so that people can use it on a daily basis.’

‘In addition, they also need to tell people about availability of a facility like this. Many people are not even aware of it, continuing to use open places as toilets. So, they have to be educated about the benefits.’

‘But all these efforts are very small when compared to the number of people who need such facilities. Everyone must contribute if this has to change.’

‘What can we do about this?’

‘We can donate what we can, to those organizations which help villages to construct and maintain toilets. Or, we can go to http://www.domex.in

‘How would that help them?’

‘Domex has an innovative theme whereby you need to just click on the “Contribute” tab, every time you click, Domex will contribute Rs 5 towards eradicating open defecation, thereby helping millions of people.’

‘Cool, let me do it immediately’, Aadharsh opened his mobile phone.

‘Not just that; make sure you send a mail and explain this to everybody. Every click will bring India closer to eradicating open defecation!’

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The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Organization He works for / belongs to.

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