Toilet, a political agenda

May 11 2014

A common toilet, which has remained ignored for decades, has become a new political agenda in the 2014 General Elections. It started at the fag-end of the UPA-II rule, when Central Minister Jairam Ramesh called it even more important than the Devalaya (God’s resting places). In their manifestos, several political parties promised crores of Indians a decent toilet. BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi started several of his election rally speeches by talking about the importance of toilets in Indian society. When Modi went to Amethi for a rally in favour of Smriti Irani, he made a taunt at the Gandhi family and said, “So many women in Amethi don’t even have access to a decent toilet, something that is crucial to maintaining a woman’s dignity. Modi also told how thousands of girls would pull out of school because there were no separate toilet facilities for them. Keeping this in mind, he built 70,000 toilets in schools. Reliable sources reveal that if Modi wins from Varanasi, he will start his Parliamentary innings by inaugurating the almost-built Sulabh Public Toilet Complex in the BHU campus.
But due to the elections going on and the political upheavals, one big news just missed becoming the headline. And that is the prestigious BBC Horizon has announced famous social revolutionist Dr Bindeshwar Pathak’s “Two pit pore flush technology” that is a part of Sulabh Shauchalaya as named it as one of the world’s five biggest inventions. The BBC also expressed concern that half of India’s population does not have access to toilets and have to defecate in the open everyday. Here’s hoping that the new government that will take charge at the Centre will understand the importance of Sulabh Shauchalaya, one of the biggest inventions in the world.

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