We have heard and hung our heads in shame about the brutal gang rape and murder of two cousins in Baduan, UP recently. Two young girls, had gone to the near by fields to relieve themselves in the night, about 9 p.m. when they were abducted, gang raped, murdered and then their bodies hung from a tree.
Like in so many villages in our country, there are no toilets which can afford safety and ‘dignity’, especially to young women. Open defecation is a huge problem.
Our villages [hattis] are no exception. The normal way of saying, Kaaduga hoittu banne [I will go to the fields for defecation]. Though, kaadu means forest in Badaga, it is used to indicate about clearing the bowels –passing/discharging/excreting faeces – when used as ‘Kaaduga Hoppadhu’ – literally meaning, ‘going to the forest/fields’].
We spent so much money in building temples and celebrating ‘temple festivals’ and do nothesitate to divide families/hattis and even go to the extent of killings. But,alas, do not care about the sanitation facilities.
‘Toilets first, temples later’ must be the mantra.
No society can claim to be forward looking unless every individual, [particularly girls and women], has accessibility to toilet facilities. We must ensure that every Badaga house has a toilet. The government has schemes and offers subsidies for building toilets.
Will public minded organisations like Nelikolu Trust or Badaga Mahajana Sanga take initiate on this ‘vital’ issue?
Open defecation is an OPEN SHAME. Time we put an end to this ‘curse’