Wednesday January 24, 2018

Women in Mumbai fighting for Right to Pee and want men to join campaign

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  • Right to Pee is a campaign which seeks to gather the attention to the lack of free, clean and safe public toilets for women in Mumbai.
  • 33 NGO have joined hands for this campaign in Mumbai.
  • The shortage of toilets is a nationwide issue: more than half India’s adolescent girls, about 63 million, have no access to a private toilet, according to an NGO Dasra.

Mumbai: Many activists and charities have joined hands for greater gender sensitivity. They started a campaigning for better access to public toilets for women in Mumbai

33 non-profit organizations have made their collaborative effort for this campaign and are calling it The Right to pee campaign. This initiative seeks to gather the attention to the lack of free, clean and safe public toilets for women in Mumbai

In the city of more than 22 million, only about one-third of the 11,000 or so pay-to-use toilets are for women.

“There is a huge disparity between facilities for men and women, largely due to the gender insensitivity of the authorities,” said Supriya Sonar, an activist with the Right to Pee campaign. “Which is why we are telling men who pee in the open: you too don’t have adequate facilities, so why don’t you join our campaign.”

The lack of adequate sanitation costs India the equivalent of more than 6 percent of its gross domestic product every year, according to non-profit Dasra, an Indian foundation promoting social change.

The issue is particularly important to slum dwellers – more than half Mumbai’s population – and to those who work on construction sites and on the streets.

Public toilets for women are often dirty, with broken doors and no running water or lights. Where there are no public toilets, the search for a suitable place comes with the constant threat of sexual harassment or rape.

Women who lack access to clean, safe sanitation tend to drink less water and control their bladders for as many as 13 hours a day. This has significant, long-term effects on their reproductive, sexual and overall health, Dasra said in a report released last week.

In Mumbai, where men can often be seen urinating at street corners and near dumpsters, almost 100 sites have been identified for the construction of toilets for women.

“But nothing has been built, and the funds have lapsed,” said activist Sonar, who on Monday returned an award the Mayor’s office gave to the campaign last year, saying there had been no progress.

“This is about a woman’s dignity,” she said. “We urge the Mumbai corporation to think about that. And we urge men who pee in the open to also join this campaign to bring more pressure on the authorities.”

The shortage of toilets is a nationwide issue: more than half India’s adolescent girls, about 63 million, have no access to a private toilet, according to Dasra.

Girls tend to miss school for an average of six days a month because of the lack of safe toilets there, leading to almost a quarter of them dropping out of education on reaching puberty. This “sharply degrades their potential as individuals and future workers,” Dasra said.

The United Nations said in a 2014 report that it was a “tragic irony” that there were more mobile phones per 100 people in India than toilets.

In economic terms, the importance of tackling the problem is that there is a return of between $3 and $34 for every dollar spent on sanitation, through reduced poverty and health costs, and higher productivity, the United Nations said.

PM Modi launched the “Clean India Mission” in 2014 aimed at improving sanitation and increase funding for public toilets to stop open defecation.

The ” Smart cities” initiative also aims at improving roads , utilities and sanitation.(reuter)

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Right to pee is a stupendous initiative taken. I too would want men to join this campaign so that it is enforced really fast

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    This is something really important.. women need safe sanitation facilities and this initiative would probably bring a change

  • devika todi

    i believe such causes should gather attention of everyone, men and women. everyone should have access to basic sanitation.
    this is not just relevant for Mumbai, but almost every city in our country.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Right to pee is a stupendous initiative taken. I too would want men to join this campaign so that it is enforced really fast

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    This is something really important.. women need safe sanitation facilities and this initiative would probably bring a change

  • devika todi

    i believe such causes should gather attention of everyone, men and women. everyone should have access to basic sanitation.
    this is not just relevant for Mumbai, but almost every city in our country.

Next Story

India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.