Open Defecation: The Art of Creating 3-D Designs in the Open

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The journey of Indian governments to make its people shit indoors has been a real struggle. But do these struggles really brought in the change that we all this while hoping for? As 673 million people openly defecate in India in any given day, what are the challenges that are being faced while trying to reduce this number?
Open Defecation- The Art of Creating 3-D Designs in the Open- Delik House
Credit: Sharada Prasad CS/ Flickr

Although many of us don’t actually use the public toilets to do our thing rather we openly paint wall murals near the roads.

Men in Action

The art of painting murals or creating sculptures behind bushes have become a huge problem for the government as well as the people to tackle. For the people who still haven’t grasped the problem on which I am talking about; it is the issue of Open Defecation.

a child defecating outside in the open
Indian Strategic Studies: 673 Million People Still Defecate

In India, the binge building of toilets have somewhat corroded the progress of open defecation but still, a lot has to change. Nearly half a billion people (more or less) still are defecating outside leading to diseases and pollution.

The backdrop of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’

One step towards cleanliness

The Swachh Bharat Mission that led to building millions of toilets and latrines actually stopped many people to sculpt 3D designs with their anus but many of these toilets are turning into dry latrines.

For those of you who don’t know what a dry latrine is; it is the phenomena that happen when human excreta becomes dry and sticky and smelly. The reason being the shortage of WATER!

What a shocking reason?


A neatly clogged toilet in picture

The building of toilets and their maintenance is actually two different jobs. While millions of toilets have been built and are into use, there are thousands of toilets which are being clogged with dry human excreta every day.

Now to keep these dry latrines running; the sanitation workers are becoming the victims as they have to dispose out the dry wastes by manually scavenging HUMAN EXCRETA.

Which section of the society cleans these dry latrines?

So, the work of manually taking out wastes and disposing them is being given to WOMEN!

There is no surprise as to why the majority of sanitation workers are women who are constantly beaten and are forced to do the job that is both, illegal and inhumane.

Majority of Sanitation Workers in India are Women

And still, after all of this, women are being raped by people while going to manually scavenge the wastes of those same people.

For instance, a sanitation worker was raped and beaten inside a half-constructed toilet compound by two men urinating nearby in Banthla, Uttar Pradesh.

Moreover, the funds to build toilets do not include the money to build sewers for the wastes to magically disappear by throwing a bucket of water. So, the latrines have to be manually cleaned in regular intervals.

Toilet he but…paani lana aapki zimmedari he!

Still, after all of this *literal shit, people don’t actually use these toilets as nobody really cleans them super nice. That’s why people prefer to sculpt their creativity in the open.

Coming to the deaths of manual scavengers and sanitation workers

The number of deaths in the septic tanks goes to an astounding number of more than 700 but hey! You gotta do what you gotta do!

A manual scavenger in action in India
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Pooja Kiran
Pooja Kiran
3 years ago

Yaar yeh sahi tha… Creativity bhi Kahan kahan se bana lete Hain log ?

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Srinivas Moghekar

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