‘Big Service Bus Stand’ needs a ‘Big Toilet’ to Serve Commuters ‘Nature’s Call’?
Mangaluru: As the saying goes “Where there’s a Will, There’s a Way”- but here I have my own slogan, “Where There’s a Wall, Men Go For Nature’s Call?”. No matter if you have e-toilets or regular toilets in Mangaluru, people still like to urinate openly- Old habits Die Hard? Imagine for a growing city like Mangaluru, with floating population increasing day by day- the MCC had installed five e-toilets, which is far from believing that it would really serve towards the needs of the commuters who are looking for toilets desperately. Mangaluru needs more than just 5 e-toilets, it needs quite a few regular toilets too- in order to keep the City clean, Swachh Mangaluru!
Just walk by the Service Bus Stand near State Bank of India area, you will have to hold your nose in order to control the stinky smell that emanates from the area close to the walls, where hundreds of men pee every single day- and nothing has been done by the district administration nor MCC nor law enforcement dept to stop open urinating. And the worst part is that other than the regular commuters/bus crew who regularly use this stretch of the wall to relive themselves, but when large gathering turns out for mega event at Nehru Maidan, this is the only WALL which acts as a Urinal facility for men to pee- and other day when a mammoth crowd showed up to see PM Modi at Nehru Maidan- and after the speech, there was a huge “Human Wall”of men urinating at the said ‘WALL’ in front of the service bus stand. This is total abuse of PM Modi’s Swachh Bharath Abhiyan- but with no other option, when enough toilets are not provide, peeing openly is the only option.
Even though there is a pay per use toilet at the Service Bus stand, but to serve such large commuters who use the bus terminal is not a joke. The present toilet has six urinal provisions and four commode facility for men, while only two commode facilities are provided for women- and that’s total discrimination towards women! Two toilet provisions for such a large women travelers who board their buses from this station, is unbelievable. MCC should have spent that nearly Rs 80-90 lakhs money which was spent on that stupid Clock Tower, which is still lying as a incomplete “Non-Historic Monument”, on building a few toilets who would have benefited many, rather than any one caring to look at the time on “Clock Tower”, when 99% of the people have wrist watches or mobile phones to check the time?
It is sad to note that when mega events are organized at Nehru Maidan, the organizers don’t even provide portable toilets. Imagine sitting for hours in that hot sun, consuming lots of liquid (water, butter milk etc) and having no place to go when you want to go- I mean a toilet to relieve oneself! The common sense among the citizens is different- even if there are e-toilets or Sulabh toilets, they would rather pee openly than use these facilities. I bet how many people have used the new e-toilets that were launched recently- probably not many. You can see men urinating wherever they want to, specially behind the walls. But its sad to note that women have to suffer and hold their bladders till they reach their homes/destinations due to lack toilets in Mangaluru.
One one place you can daily watch men urinating behind/at the wall is opposite to the Service Bus Stand (wall located on the road between Nehru Maidan and Service Bus Stand)-every five minutes there will be either a bus driver, conductor, laborers, passengers, and others men quickly using this “Wall” to hide themselves, while relieving themselves? The whole stretch of road stinks of urine-and its unbearable. Has the MCC noticed it? Not a “Smart Scene” for a “Smart City”?
And while India is gearing up to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and PM Modi’s Swachh Bharath Abhiyan success on 2 October 2019, it is very unfortunate that the rapidly-modernising India, and for that matter, Mangaluru, still remains home to the world’s largest number of population where open defecation is practiced. As the saying goes, ” When you need to go, you have to Go?”-but in India, including Mangaluru,”-when you desperately need to go, you can’t go”, as there are no toilets available handy. When thousands of people attend mega celebrations at Nehru Maidan, but in emergency cases if someone wants to use a toilet, you’ll hardly find a permanent toilet, nor a portable toilet.
It makes me giggle and at the same time feel awful whenever I see modest foreigners who travel either by road or railways and gazing at the scruffy roads or railway tracks which have become open defecating ground with human feces all over and happily presuming it to be part of ‘Incredible India’. But, the question arises as to why do people relieve their innards in the open in India? Is this practice of pooping or peeing in the open a fixed behaviour pattern of certain communities? Or do people in India in general lack sanitation awareness?
I know many steps have been taken in this direction to keep a check on this practice- like Swachh Bharath; But, it is important to realize that this alone will in no way turn out to be a magic bullet in solving the problem. The problem is much graver. It has been observed that people change their habits for some time of not defecating in the open, but then again return to the same old practice. Many NGO’s , including the Swachh Mangaluru campaign by Ramakrishna Mission have tried their best to keep Mangaluru clean, but the mentality of the ignorant people here have not changed. That’s sad.
States and central govt spend lot of money through them, but constructing environment friendly toilets still a dream. Many of us will not live to see the end of such an evil practice. We are boasting to be developed nation by 2020, but the reality is still, in 2019, we still lack in lot of basic front…. we can not depend upon government or local administration for each and everything. There is something called self -governance by individual and local responsible bodies. We ourselves have to take initiative, but we always look at government to start something for us. We need to change our mindset. education is key ..
So,let us decide to be free from the shackles of our ‘old and burdened’ habits and make our ‘Smart and Educated City-Mangaluru’ a heaven where every child and adult is ‘healthy’. It is the responsibility of every Mangalorean to support the open defecation/peeing free program by government and development partners. We need to stop open urinating/defecation for next gen kids those are shoulder of India and our City. Prevention is better than cure. Culture also plays a part, but Independence struggle is also responsible. Let’s work together for a Clean India and Clean Mangaluru!