Safety and sanitation go hand and hand.How?
How can a woman’s safety depend on the standard of sanitation she gets? To answer this I want to remind you that this year two women were raped and hanged to death but people ask that what actually they were doing in such a lonely and shady place? They were just answering the nature’s call. So what do you want them to do? Can’t they even pee now? A toilet at home would have saved their life but unfortunately toilets and proper sanitation methods leave women with no other choice than to go out. These girls were just 14 and 15 years old respectively. While the limelight remains on the insensitivity of the government, the underlying issue might be the fact that these girls stepped outside to ease themselves.
This incident has once again thrown light on the fact that poor sanitation facilities in rural India may be a reason which makes women vulnerable to such heinous crimes. Some rural villages, for example in a village in Panipath where even the police admits that there is a significant decrease in complaints of women being assaulted while defecating in the open.The observation does not mean crimes against women have ceased, but it certainly points to the fact the improved sanitation facility has lowered the trend of sexual assault on village women. Well, such success stories are few. Women are now used to of being stalked by wild boars and hyenas and, during the rainy season, watching out for animals who are not the only blood hungry hounds anymore as now these women have to watch out for lecherous men.
This is not a small issue, it is grim enough to be featured in the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech where he ensures to remove open defecation by 2014, he further says “We are in the 21st century and yet there is still no dignity for women as they have to go out in the open to defecate and they have to wait for darkness to fall,” Modi said. “Can you imagine the number of problems they have to face because of this?” Let us all take a pledge that we won’t let the girls out to defecate in the open for we will give them a gift of sanitation, a gift in the form of a toilet, a gift of their dignity and safety.
—– About the author: The article has been contributed by our intern, Anmol Sabharwal.