Late in the evening a swanky BMW stops at the side of the road, a tensed man gets out and runs behind the tree only to resurface with a relaxed expression.
What was he doing behind the tree? Was he up to something? Nah, he was just attending an important call, “the nature’s call”. A call if not taken on time could lead to catastrophic effects.
But how can an educated man not have any civic sense?
“Oh! Come on. I can’t go to a hotel just to use their restroom. It will not look nice and what will they think of me. Its not that I’m doing it on the road or out-in the open! I’m going behind the bushes with my parking lights on. It’s not causing any trouble”, says Mayank, a south Delhi resident.
According to this kewl dude, it’s not a problem for others but it’s a BIG problem for the ladies. “You cannot look left or right on Delhi roads, there are men who are busy peeing. If by chance you look in their direction, they’ll smile at you. Eww! We are embarrassed but they are not. If we can control it or find a proper bathroom, why can’t they? Seriously, what do they drink? They are peeing all day and every where”, states Alisha, a young student.
In another case, a man gets down from the bus and runs towards the public toilet. But wait! He just can’t control it and attends “the nature’s call” right next to the toilet.
When asked, why he gave a miss to the public toilet (PT)?
“Arrey, have you ever been inside one? It’s all slippery, what if I fall inside, will you come and pick me up? No! And I’ll be stinking like a ….a…public toilet. They are so dirty, I don’t want to get an infection”, explains Kamlesh Singh, who works at a bathroom fitting store.
MCD maintains that it cleans all the PTs daily in the morning. Due the frequency of people visiting, it becomes impossible to clean it during the day. “We know the PTs are a mess but the public is to be blamed. They pee everywhere except the urinals and they spit paan while peeing. Even though we clean it with acid every second week, its difficult to give a sparkling toilet once it is being used by the public”, according to an MCD official.
Sulabh International Social Service Organisation has been working diligently to improve the problem. “We have public conveniences at every metro station and in all important markets. We charge a nominal fee of Re 1 for men and Rs 2 for women. We guarantee total cleanliness and hygiene.” Do people use them? “Yes, they come, though the majority of them are women” says a SISSO representative.
“They are not every where. If there is an emergency, I won’t look for a public convenience; buy a token and then pee. I’d rather prefer to go behind a tree”, this is a standard reply of dilliwalas. They are aware of the fines levied by the government but they are also confident of its implementation. “The only places were they can be fined are the embassy area and Central Secretariat, at other places the Delhiwalls are available to show off their creativity. The state government does clean the walls and/or put warning signs along with tiles of Gods and Goddesses. But the people here are very resourceful, they’ll remove the tile and continue creating public nuisance”, points out Alisha
And now it stinks!!!
The writer is a Delhi based correspondent at Youth Ki Awaaz.