Sunday, November 22, 2015

No Toilet Humour please

It was a normal routine morning and I was tuned into Disney Junior Channel with my kiddo whilst having breakfast. In the commercial break, Disney played a three minute filler animated series called ‘Nina Needs to Go’.
Nina Needs to Go
PC - Disney

As the name suggests, it was about a girl called Nina who ultimately needs to use the loo when in different scenarios and how she manages to relieve herself. I was mildly surprised of the content of the filler cartoon, which was uncanny to the rest of the content on the channel. It  turns out it is aimed at preschoolers to develop and get accustomed to toilet manners.

But in fact, it dawned upon me on how this is an important issue and how it needs to be rightly addressed. Nina was addressing the need of the hour – clean, hygienic, easily available sanitation and access to water. In India, where toilets are not easily accessible, and even if they are accessible, they are either unclean, lack a continuous water supply or lack safety, especially for women.

If you are under the misconception that toilets are only inaccessible in the rural areas, next time, ask your house-help about the long queues they have to stand outside a common toilet with a bucket of water to go for their daily ablutions. Even those who live in a chawl system type house more than one of these issues – unclean toilets, irregular water supply, and lack of safety for women (no source of light / no latch on the toilet doors), and disposal of waste. Especially for women, during the time of menstruation, there is more often the need to use a clean toilet.

Unclean toilets are said to be precursors to infections and diseases spread by unclean surroundings. And those diseases when spread rampantly can ultimately result in affecting the overall nutrition, especially for women and children.

And that is why #wecantwait to get clean toilets as a basic need.

World Toilet Day It's no Joke

To combat this, there are some actions being taken:

The United Nations declared November 19th of every year as ‘World Toilet Day’ in a bid to draw attention to the alarming fact that more than quarter of the world’s population cannot access sanitary facilities!

World Toilet day is about the 2.4 billion people who lack access to improved sanitation. It is about the nearly 1 billion people who have to defecate in the open.

“Equality, Dignity and the Link Between Gender-Based Violence and Sanitation” is the theme for this year’s World Toilet Day, which seeks to put a spotlight on the threat of sexual violence that women and girls face due to the loss of privacy as well as the inequalities that are present in usability. Toilets generally remain inadequate for populations with special needs, such as the disabled and elderly, and women and girls requiring facilities to manage menstrual hygiene.

This initiative has been activelyt In fact this very day, last year, Hindustan Unilever’s Domex launched a campaign to drive this thought and to everyone’s attention on the importance of accessible sanitation through Toilet For Babli. They highlighted many stories, induced by social sharing on the plight of village women and how then combatted building a toilet near their home. In fact, I read up on one such story of a bride refusing to go to her husband’s place, on finding out about the lack of a toilet around his home. To which, to woo the lady of his life, the man eventually built a toilet for her and all was good.

So take a moment to feel lucky to be among those who have toilets installed inside or near their homes rather than having the need to walk a mile outside of their home in the wilderness just to answer nature’s call. After all, it is no dirty joke.


  1. Good initiatives, all! It's important for us to stop glossing over the issue of a lack of toilets and address them rather than thinking toilet talk is too dirty for us to get involved in.

    1. Well said Kalpanaa. Completely agree with you!


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