Women of east Kalyanpuri Delhi have to go out to relieve themselves. A urban slum with a population of 4,ooo residents having two toilets only.
There was a toilet in her area run by the civic body, now destroyed in an accident. Since then women have been going behind Shastri Park to relieve themselves. They face severe humiliation especially at night, they complained. “When people drive by the area when we are relieving ourselves, they deliberately focus the head lights at us. This happens on a daily basis,” says a resident of the area. A woman resident of Burari, another slum area, says: “We have two open toilets for 5,000 people. This area is infamous for drunkards. They know that women come to relieve themselves at night. So, they reach there before us, gather around and misbehave,”
This is the story of almost all slum clusters. And their situation, according to experts, lead to various health as well as social problems. The figures vary from two toilets catering to a population of 5,000 to even areas housing 28,000 people at places like Burari, Nandnagri, Kalyanpuri, Seemapuri, Dilshad Garden and Shahdara of North-East Delhi.
The severity of the problem can be gauged from the fact that from 60,000 villages, only 25,000 have access to proper toilets.
“It is not that open defecation causes problem only to women. It affects people of all genders equally. Abdominal diseases like chronic cholera, typhoid and jaundice are rampant in communities where open defecation is a norm. It also affects the crop and water sources, causing further health issues. This also has a bearing on their productivity leading to financial repercussions in the long run,” says Kiran Guleria, Professor (Gynaecology) at Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital.
Ashok Santsansgi, a general physician from Sukhdev Vihar, adds: “The physically weak suffer more from reproductive problems because of exposed genitals in open-defecation areas regularly. Urinal disease is very common among them.”
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Editied By : Sanitation Kumar