Saturday, July 4, 2015
The poor girl wanted a toilet for dignity, got death instead!
I am sharing a shocking news with you this morning.
It is alleged that a girl studying std 12 committed suicide because her parents did not construct a toilet. She was ashamed of going for open defecation but the family was more worried about her marriage. Please read the link below for the details:
news/refused-toilet-at-home- class-12-student-allegedly- commits-suicide-778066
Marriages in India, especially that of the girl child, can be the greatest burden on Earth for the parents.
This sad news brings to the debate the complexity of issues and challenges that afflict our mission to make India open defecation free. Mission mode, penalties for people who defecate in the open, etc. etc. many such drives may not actually work if such deep rooted socio-cultural and economic issues are not addressed.
Next time Vidya Balan comes on a TV ad and asks the girls to demand a toilet for their safety and dignity, I am sure reality will haunt her more than before!
Hope we will debate on the issues and prevent such incidents from happening in this country in future.
Look forward to your comments and suggestions.
Thanks and best regards,
Ranjan K Panda
Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO)
Convenor, Combat Climate Change Network, India
Mahanadi River Waterkeeper (Member, Global Waterkeeper Alliance, New York)