TODAY -

Free open defecation & open pee

Free Thinker *



Hon. Chief Minister has declared with a sense of achievement that Manipur is now ODF (Open Defecation free); we are the 23rd in the country and 5th in the NE region to achieve such a feat.

It is great news for all of us but in my opprobrious mind a question starts pricking, whether we are really free from open potty habits. If it is true, it is too good. The declaration was made in connection with a cleanliness drive in the name of Gandhiji and that too in Gandhi Memorial Hall; we have no doubt about it.

Such claims are made only after proper surveys conducted by the competent authorities and experts. I am not contesting the claim. I am simply wondering whether we have completely changed our old habit of going out in the open fields or forests to respond to the natureís call.

We have achieved ODF, now it is high time to deal with open pee. It is again a menace everywhere in the country. Country is too big, let us come to our tiny State. We see quite often men relieving themselves along the roadsides, preferably against a wall or a tree. This is also as unhygienic as open defecation.

Our next drive ought to be for an OPF (open pissing free) society. We may seek suggestions from the experts and scholars who have great knowledge in this matter; moreover practical ideas from common people, NGOs and stakeholders may also be collected to deal with this hot subject.

I heard that there are some toilets in Chenai where you can get one rupee if you use their toilet for pee. We can tap such ideas and at the same time we must also know why they are collecting urine; is it for gas or gold? we must know.

In China, someone told me that they manufacture gold out of urine. If we can develop such technology everyone will preserve their urine in a bottle or a tank so that they convert it to gold.

Till we have such technology we must manage the menace open pissing. Hon (L) Morarji used it for health. And now cow urine is marketed by some gurus highlighting its medicinal values. So it is high time we do something about human pee.

Still I have a nerdy skeptical mind; whether every house-hold in the hills has a toilet or whether every village has proper community toilets, if so, whether the people are really using them. Whether the villagers still have the habit of going to the forest or the fields to relieve themselvesl, let us visit them, I am curious.

Habits die hard. But we must change our habits for the good. When we were students we used to travel by bus to and fro in between Imphal and Dimapur/Guwahati (by MSRTC Bus or Blue Hills or Golden Travels etc) .

The journey in between became a huge problem in terms of relieving oneself. Whenever somebody needed to answer the call of nature, one had to request the bus driver to stop the bus for awhile . We were really amazed to see the patience or the will power of the ladies. They normally get down at the proper stoppages where washrooms are available.

Those days travelling by flight was too expensive even though we-students got tickets at concessional rates. So, most of the students studying outside the State used to travel by bus and train. Only a few students from very affluent families could travel by plane and rest of us travelled on plain.

Planes and trains have toilets but the buses donít. Some European over-night buses have small toilets inside. Here also buses for long journeys should have such facilities, otherwise ODF may fail in any nook and corner of the country.

Last but not the least, if we really want to achieve hundred-percent open defecation free (ODF) and absolute open pissing free (OPF) the Executive/Govt. must pass an order to impose fines upon those who perform such obnoxious acts in the open.

The fine extorting power should be given to the police, VDF, traffic police, local clubs etc. And allow them to use the fund for themselves. Just see the result. For open defecation, fine should be 10 rupees / 5 rupees (single offence); if caught red-handed in a group some concessions may be awarded.

But any refusal to pay the fine the offender or offenders must be humiliated in public (without violence). Mahatma did not believe in violence.


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on 13 October , 2018 .


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