Tuesday, November 18, 2014

India for Babli!!!

Her stomach hurts like hell. Babli wants to go to the toilet really bad but she has to wait till sundown. After all, no decent girl from a decent family should be seen with her posterior uncovered...her mother had explained to her many many moons ago.

The village in which she lives, it is on the outskirts of Mumbai. And her father is a farmer. From one of the many tribes that dot the country. Her mother works as a domestic help in the city close by and Babli goes to the local school in the nearby village which is a good twenty minutes walk through the forest. On occasion, when she can hold on no more, Babli and her friends form a circle and they answer nature's call.

There are no sanitation facilities in the village where Babli lives. They draw water from the well to drink and wash. The forests are their toilets. Every morning, just before the sun rises, the women folk of the village make small groups and set out for the forest with tumblers and buckets of water in tow. To say the least, it is very inconvenient...especially in the monsoons when the forest is teeming with snakes and scorpions and other dangerous creatures. Many a little children and on occassion, even adults, have died after being bit by the animals.

Therefore Babli has found a way out. It is a bit inconvenient but it is the best she can do. Babli holds on to nature's call and goes to the toilet inside her school. It is clean and has taps with flowing water. Like Babli, there are scores of kids who wait to go to the toilet at school. But this means that their classes are delayed. But it's the best they can do and the teachers have to make adjustments.

This is not only Babli's story. This is also the story of Laxmi and her daughter Ajeeta, who studies in the municipal school in a small hamlet in Virar, off the bustling metropolis of Mumbai. Laxmi has been working in our house for over 12 years. For the past 12 years, every once in a while, Laxmi tells us some interesting stories which happen on the way to her morning rituals. Village gossip, mother-in-law travails, and even some marriages have been fixed over during this part of the day.

For someone like you and me, who have grown up in cities where each and every house has a bathroom, it is unimaginable that there are millions of people like Babli and her mother who defecate in the open fields and forests. Battling danger, serious health problems, embarrassment and fear...

But like every other citizen of this country, Babli, Laxmi, Ajeeta and millions of people like her, they all deserve to have basic sanitation facilities like toilets and clean, washing areas. Domex has come up with a unique initiative in which all you have to do s click through to their website and they will contribute Rs. 5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation.

There are a millions of Bablis all around India who are waiting for a single click.

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