Delhi HC Asks Civic Bodies to Focus on Model Toilets

Balakumar Rajendran

All the civic agencies were “sensitized” to develop model public toilets, the Delhi high court said. The court asked the municipal corporations and the cantonment board to form concrete proposals and clear-cut time schedule to build model toilets in area adopted by each of them. The court also said that there must be better toilets especially for women who come up in population. As revealed by the RTI ( Right to information),  Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh,  472 km from Delhi, doesn’t have public toilets for women and has a toilet for every 58,844 people.

Unhygienic sanitation spreads diseases like- cholera, intestinal worms, trachoma, tyhoid etc; to name a few throughout the society. Human beings are infected with hookworm parasites by direct contact, such as walking bare foot, in soil that contains human feces. These parasites cause bladder and kidney infections.

India’s first national wide program for rural sanitation, “The Central Rural Sanitation”, programme was launched and need for toilets were seeded in the minds of people in 1986. Sikkim has become the first state to achieve 100 percent rural sanitation coverage. In a survey conducted by WHO (World Health Organisation) and UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) in 2008, 2.6 billion people 40% of world’s population had no access to improved sanitation facilities. Another survey conducted by WSP Global Inc. through an initiative named “Economics of Sanitation” in the year 2010 showed, an estimate that 1 in every 10 deaths in Indian villages is linked with poor sanitation.

United nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on World Toilet Day (19 November 2014) said, one out of three women worldwide lack access to safe toilets. It is a moral imperative to end open defecation to ensure women and girls are not at risk of assault and rape simply because lack of sanitation facility.Adding to this, girls are often forced to miss schools or even drop out of education due to lack of sanitation facilities in the school. The individual household latrine coverage has nearly tripled from just 21.9% at national level as reported by the census in 2001 for around 68% in 2010 according to the latest data reported by the districts to the department of Drinking Water and Sanitation through online monitoring system.