It helps that we have more temples than toilets and the few public toilets that we do have are a playground for germs and diseases. Only someone with a death wish will dare use it.
At a time when India was smoothly transitioning from Bharat ek Soch to Bharat ek Shouch, our newly elected PM, Narendra Modi decided to play the party pooper with his clarion call for separate toilets for boys and girls in schools across the country. Now, these are not private schools that urban folks send their children to but the ones where kids die after having mid-day meals. But, if they are lucky to end up with just loose motions, Modi jee will make sure, they’ll not have to run out their Math class and out of their school in search of the nearest field to relieve themselves of their agony.
Mr Modi’s belief that his dream of ‘Swachh Bharat’ will help girls participate in education for a longer period of time and play a larger economic role has been strongly condemned by Khaps who make no distinction between women and buffaloes. Rahul Gandhi, the greatest champion of women’s empowerment has yet to come to terms that his signature theme is being taken away from right under his nose.
True to our Indian ethos that comes up with 10 different different problems for every solution, a tussle has erupted between the Drinking Water & Sanitation Ministry and the Human Resource Development Ministry over who will fund the construction in state-run schools. The government doesn’t have a Corporate Social Irresponsibility fund to draw on. They may approach the Finance Ministry to introduce a cess for tax payers. The DW&S Ministry has humbly approached Ajit Peewar, Maharashtra’s State deputy chief minister, to fill water tanks and not dams with his honourable urine.
Thankfully, Narendra Modi’s Pee for Progress has triggered a loo-natic rush by corporates for toilet building. Everyone from Bharti, HUL, Aditya Birla Group, ITC, Adani and Dabur are eager to bring Modi’s sanitation dreams to fruition. TCS, India's largest software services firm, said it will spend Rs 100 crore building sanitation facilities for girl students in 10,000 schools.
These toilets will catapult our police force and investigating agencies into a state of such heightened accountability that they will not only file FIRs when a woman is molested, but seek out the culprits from every nook and corner and mete out exemplary punishment. Senior politicians will no longer say “ Ladko se galti ho jati hai. Kya rape case mein phansi di jayegi?” Girls and women all over the country will see a Swachh Bharat that treats its women with dignity and lets them step out of their homes to build a new world without fear stalking their minds.