August 5: If the children feel like relieving themselves, they go to the nearby drain or the fields beyond. For their mothers and sisters, matters are even worse. They have
to wait for night to fall. They can attend nature’s call only under the cover of darkness. As if they were committing a crime.
But now things are changing for the 1000 odd residents of Karuvettupatai in Tiruchi district, Tamil Nadu.
Gramalaya, a local nongovernment organisation, has constructed toilets for them. And there are special models for children. These are perhaps the first child-friendly
toilets in the country, says a report in ‘The Indian Express’.
They consist of a row of 10 toilets on a raised platform. Each one of them is surrounded by a three feet high wall and has water, soap and a mug in one corner. These are meant to be used by children between
three to six years. The toilets are connected underneath by a PVC pipe which connects them to a nearby underground drainage system. A simple but efficient system
Gramalaya has also constructed 20 other toilets for adults, which has proved to be a boon for the women of the locality. They do not have to wait for sunset to
go to answer nature’s call, as they say.
The 30 toilets are being maintained by self-help groups formed for the purpose. The group members take turns to keep the toilets clean and
charge 50 paise for use.