The flashing news everywhere glitters to manifest the rising sun of India. Everyone around is looking for positive future and is boasting about the astronomical young population that India possess. But conditions are not similar around the entire length and breadth of our India. If one wishes to see the status quo one has to walk in the dirty streets of this country and has to breathe the folly air out of water logged lanes. We know about devils of illiteracy, unemployment and population. We have been fighting them since our inception but there is something else which, albeit considered as less severe, also hampers the prosperity and growth of India.
The problem is about the scarcity of Toilets in the homes; the problem of open defecation.
Surely, from on view it may look a non-threatening issue and might not find a substantial weight with its mammoth counterparts like population explosion, pollution etc. but, nevertheless, this problem is very dangerous when analysed by digging deep into it.
Let’s live a story webbed around this problem; there was a bright girl, (the name is not important as name sometimes is considered to be indicator of religion), in a village somewhere in the India. The girl was very good in studies and, thus, she was favourite of all teachers. Her helping nature and amicable personality used to add on to her fame. She was rising and spreading fragrance like a burgeoning flower. She was now entering the teenage; the age where self-consciousness and self-esteem starts rising and the individual start recognizing a place for them. So, this bright girl was now learning about the world outside her village; the success stories of women, especially the stories of women leaders used to inspire her a lot. She used to vicariously put her feet into the shoes of those leaders and used to imagine how it would feel. She was, in her heart, getting herself ready for the path of challenges and success.
The story can be penned to describe the number of struggles she faces and overcome. Her life can be projected as the motivation and her thoughts can be inked as “inspiring thoughts”. But that would be too cliché to be done. So let’s have a real insight of her life which other stories often omit.
She, our bright girl, used to wake up at 4 am daily. Her mission was not to allow sun rise before her and this was the story for same day. A daily race from the sun rays and do you know why? Let’s find that out.
Our girl used to walk around one Km inside the nearby wood to find a lonely place where she could answer the natural call.
This was a part of her daily routine and might seem a trivial matter to be disclosed in this story of stating “the success and glory of a village girl”.
But wait for a moment, why do we always seek inspiration in struggle. Why we cannot provide the basic facility to our young population from which we expect something really big. Those kids (especially girls), in their hearts, die out of shame when they have to walk daily in dark in order to seek the isolated territory.
Just imagine what keeps floating in their minds as thoughts when they need to follow such practice for their whole life. We brag about women emancipation and our daughters are forced to practice open defecation. Each day the devil of embarrassment hoards them and slaughters their self- esteem to pieces, the confidence of winning the world fades and the little girl felt all alone into this world of hypocrites.
Each day, many such bright young girls sleep with tears of shame in eyes about the repetition of same schedule in the following dawn. (India is at the top of the list with highest percentage of population practising open defecation around 47% of India’s population).
Each day many such bright girls encounter the demon of shame that slays their self-esteem. Without the self-esteem our girls slowly succumb to the demon and let their dreams die.
This is not just a murder of a dream but a murder of spirit of young India. The same young India about which we boast and feel proud. The same story could have been stated in a way to inspire others but now it’s the time to witness the reality. And the reality is that we need to do something to save our young kids. Without our young kids we cannot even dream of the shining India.
The conditions are already alarming and precarious; we cannot wait for government to do or not to do something. There are policies like “Swacch Bharat” but on ground level many changes are needed to make them feasible. Hence, the proper implementation of those policies would take time. But our kids need help right now; hence we need to join hands to help them, to make them feel that we are with them, to make them feel that they are precious. So that this story can end with a beautiful ending like other stories have.