Toilets ki Katha

Balvihar November 2019 (50th year of Balvihar)

I was having a bad headache. I was already late from work and was just sitting down for my dinner when my brother Shiv called. “You won’t believe what I am about to say”

Well,  I could never be rude with him. You know why.. because our calls were always energy calls.

I am sure if the telephone operators were listening, they would be amused by the conversations we had everyday. It might last from a few seconds to much longer time.. I would not say how much.

Sometimes it would really be like, “why did you call?” “ Why did you pick up?” And disconnect from either side…but it still made our day.

Now as I sat down on the sofa holding my plate , my son gave me a glare. I knew what it meant “How come you sit on the sofa to eat while none of us are allowed anywhere beyond the dining table?”

“Hygiene” I muttered and  escaped his sneer… my brother had taken all my attention.

“What is it? Tell , tell?” I asked, switching on the speaker.

“Did you know that there is a Toilet college in your state?”

“Eeks mama, I am still having my dinner”, Ishaan shouted.

I ignored him again and asked into the receiver.” Really, you must be joking. Do you know what you are talking about?”

Since he watched the movie Toilet Ek Prem Katha which showed how to help our people get access to toilet and sanitation facilities for a healthy life, Shiv had been involving himself in giving back to the community. He along with his friends also sponsored a biotoilet for a girls’ school in rural Tamilnadu. 

His voice interrupted my thoughts.

“Presenting to you….news about the Harpic Toilet College in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India” The dramatic announcement had an accompanying jingle.

“Whaaaatttttttttt … “all of us exclaimed.

“Hey close your mouth now Ishaan. I can see a mosquito trying to find a home.”

Before waiting for Ishaan’s reaction, I had lots of questions. 

Shiv then read out from the news link about the college and how they had trained over 3200 sanitation workers guiding them about the correct work principles, safety guidelines and also assisted in their employment.

These people would train even more people in their community thus ensuring that the country eventually has a population with basic knowledge about proper sanitation and its impact on health and life as a whole.

All we could utter was a big “ WOWWWWWW….” 

“Amazing isn’t it ma?” Ishaan’s expression was priceless. 

It really mattered that my kid shared my brother’s passion to give back to the community.  

Now Ishaan found the link and read aloud- 

“Here’s more information about the Toilet college. It offers 3 hours of daily classes to a batch of 25 – 30  people for five days in a week with the women attending from 1 – 4 pm and the men from 4 pm to 7 pm.

Shiv went on to share with Ishaan how a few eco-friendly toilets that have been introduced for public use have made a difference. 

1. Bio-digestor Toilets using bacteria to convert waste into gases and manure.

2. Solar powered self cleaning toilets

3. Bamboo toilets – Cheap and practical options for those places lacking access to modern amenities.

4. Tent toilets – portable toilets that use “Chemisan” in a biodegradable bag to decompose the waste.,

5. Safichoo low-cost toilet.

Now with over 57000 public toilets in India and with more coming up, the Toilet college is a committed initiative towards a healthy future.  

It felt good hearing this.  Everyone needs a home, but a one with a well maintained toilet.