Public spaces deliver a glimpse into the lives of their towns — who’re those built for, who they have the get entry to, and who can sense a experience of consolation and safety. Public sanitation services may as correctly be a microcosm of the same sentiments. This piece derives from my experience in the instruction of model City Sanitation Plans in two cities along the Ganga basin. Preliminary studies, among past due 2017 and early 2018 in Bijnor (Uttar Pradesh) and Bodhgaya (Bihar), confirmed the functional status and considerable utilization of Public Toilets (PTs), Community Toilets (CTs), and urinals in those cities.
Interviews with relevant government officials, avenue vendors, families, targeted group discussions with self-help businesses, and a survey of the general public sanitation offerings brought about us remaining in on 47 attributes beneath five middle additives to categorize these services as sanitary or no longer.
Location, signage, presence of ramps and dustbins, amenities like water, lighting fixtures, hand-wash, the fame of the flush tanks, presence of open defecation (OD), and urination (OU) in/around the premises and connection to containment tanks were some of the attributes considered.
The five additives had been:
Along with inadequate or dysfunctional lavatory structures and the presence of OD and OU, a key situation turned into the fundamental technique to these public sanitation offerings: designed often to be used by adult males. This interpretation of the services as male-centric became highlighted utilizing the absence of dustbins, internal lady booths, no childcare facilities, and rampant open urination by using adult males, particularly on the walls and inside the public regions outdoor the urinals or maybe the restroom complexes.
No sanitation for ladies
In Bijnor, our primary studies discovered that there had been no provisions for menstrual hygiene products throughout PTs and CTs. At the same time, over forty percent of sanitation offerings showed proof of OD and OU around the bathroom premises. In Bodhgaya, where a UNESCO World Heritage website online — the Mahabodhi temple — is located, less than ten percentage PTs had dustbins while none of the CTs had them. Also, wherein toilet complexes did have booths for otherwise-abled human beings, these were used for garage functions. This skewed truth was now not remoted from the extra substantial governance gadget it was entangled in. Government departments chargeable for sanitation paintings in each of the cities did not have any woman officers throughout our research.