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590 million people in India don't have toilets. Why are there so few toilets in India?

A country's urban civilization is directly reflected in the number of public toilets. 590 million people in India have no toilets, and half of the rapes are caused by women's outdoor excretion. According to media reports, a film called "toilet: a love story" was released in India last week, focusing on the issue of local defecation in India. Why are there so few public toilets in India?

The film is adapted from a real event in 2011, in central India, a woman left her husband because she had no toilet at home. Recently, similar stories are on. A court in Rajasthan agreed to a woman's divorce application on the grounds that her husband, who has been married for five years, did not build a toilet at home.

Indian families refused to build toilets because of their caste system. The caste system regards cleaning toilets as an unclean thing, which can only be done by the Dalit class, and ordinary Indians are unwilling to do it themselves. On the other hand, the public toilets actively built by the Indian government have not completely changed the heroic outdoor excretion of Indians. More than 590 million people in India lack toilets, about half of the country's population, according to a UNICEF survey. That is to say, one out of every two Indians excretes. According to the data, 50% of rapes in India occur on the way to the toilet.

Toilet, it's not easy to say I love you

But for India, the easiest thing to do is to persuade these people to use toilets. In rural areas, men and women are excluded from toilets for different reasons.

One study found that the reasons why Indian men prefer poop to toilet are: water saving; fresh air breathing; toilet paper saving; a good excuse to avoid their wives and mothers; and not having to face their beloved girls in front of the toilet.

Many public institutions began to play the chastity card, saying that women would not be raped if toilets were repaired at home. But another study suggests that it's an important way for women to socialize.

In many areas, women are not allowed to gather in public to discuss topics or exchange views, or even to gossip together. Teenagers have more restrictions because older women prohibit young people from discussing freely. Therefore, the best excuse for chatting and hanging out is to pee together.

In Tamil Nadu, where Dalits and fishermen are concentrated, the risk of sexual assault is not high enough to make people feel safe only in toilets. Therefore, in order to put an end to the wild shit and urine, we should first provide a social environment where we can chat freely and gossip freely.

Multifaceted challenges

India also faces a challenge: not to build a toilet casually, which is of high quality and can withstand the weather of the years, does not pollute the environment and soil, reduces water consumption and realizes sustainable toilet use. This requires supporting facilities. The sewage treatment system of each toilet shall be adapted to local conditions, taking into account the soil type, rainfall, groundwater level, available amount of water resources, wind speed and gradient.

Thousands of toilets have been abandoned, either never used or only used for a short time, because the tofu dregs engineering or technical design is not appropriate.

When the superstructure of the toilet began to deteriorate, problems began to arise. For example, if a family can't or doesn't want to repair it, or if there's no local maintenance organization (most of which is the case), the stench begins to spread and urine and feces overflow. This brings negative public praise to the toilet, which leads to the follow-up effect, and leads the whole community to pick up the habit of peeing again.

Therefore, the construction quality is the most important to promote the civilized toilet, as well as the training of private toilet Masons.

To solve the latter problem, many institutions are teaching young people with little formal education how to repair toilets. But there is no standard curriculum for health systems. In addition, those illiterate Masons are reluctant to attend formal courses.

At the same time, because masons learn their skills through practice or apprenticeship, their learning is slow and subjective - two people of the same level may build completely different toilets. This problem needs to be solved when skills training is promoted.