The United Nations in 2013 announced Wold Toilet Day to spread awareness across the world about the importance of having a toilet. Many people still do not have access to a clean place to go to when in need. Today, I see that toilets are being built, money is being spent to stop open defecation, and more people are using washrooms.
Nonetheless, whenever I go out, I find people peeing on the walls, defecating near water bodies, and sometimes even in public spheres. I am not talking about rural places, as it may appear that uneducated people don’t know where to defecate; open defecation is prevalent in big metropolitan cities as well.
However, there’s another problem similar to open defecation, and that is open spitting. Once you step out, you might come back home without having seen anyone defecating in public, but you can’t come back without having seen someone spitting. When people defecate on the roads, they do it in the corners, but what about spitting? It can happen anywhere, anyplace. In one moment, you are walking freely, and in another, you see spit just beside you.
Can’t there be spittoons or dedicated corners for people to spit into? Because apparently, we can’t walk without doing it. We have become so habitual that the government had to fine spitting during Covid. In Bangalore, the penalty for spitting once was Rs 1,000, and the second time for the same person was Rs 2,000.
“We couldn’t put an end to this menace as violators would walk away easily by paying a small fine. They continued to spit in public without any fear of the law. We decided to increase the penalty ten-fold and hoped it would act as a deterrent,” said a senior Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagrika Palike (BBMP) officer.
This imposition of penalty happened only after seeing the large outbreak of coronavirus; before the coronavirus, there were no such rules or penalties. It is hilarious to see how we have to put fine on everything around us to bring it under control and still see no results. I don’t know how much time it may take, but I strongly feel the urge to have a World Spit Day to acknowledge its importance. If we can have a day for everything, why not on issues that matter?