Can't starve anymore, Plz get us a functional Community toilet for our health & dignity!

Can't starve anymore, Plz get us a functional Community toilet for our health & dignity!

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Karan Kamble started this petition to CM. Shri. Uddhav Thackeray and

#IsMumbaiReallyODF?

Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra State, Mr. Devendra Fadnavis declared Mumbai City open defecation free on 6th July, 2017 and the Quality council of India officially validated the claim granting an ODF certificate to Mumbai (an area of 437.7 sq km with over 12 million people). Even today after 3 years of declaration, the SBM- Urban scheme is not implemented in several parts of Mumbai City and one of the example being Jai Bhim Nagar, Powai.

We all know that Powai is a well-planned and highly developed town in the Mumbai City but many of us will be astonished to know a slum named Jay Bhim Nagar which is located in Hiranandani, Powai. It's basically a labourer’s community and marginalized section of the society. Most of them work under the Hiranandani group of builders and developers as daily wage laborers, housekeepers, drivers, etc at construction sites, in malls, in companies and in homes of highly developed societies of Hiranandani Powai.

Majority of the population in Jai Bhim Nagar belong to Scheduled Castes and they come under SCs converted to Buddhism. People here face several problems like constant fear of evacuation, high illiteracy and dropouts, bad influence of surrounding leading to high alcoholism rate, drugs addiction, etc.

Ms. Asha Chaure, Jai Bhim Nagar resident and Community Leader filled a case and RTI on Land Ownership of Jai Bhim Nagar against Land Evacuation by Hiranandani Builders in 2014. Since, that time onwards residents of Jai Bhim Nagar were deprived of many facilities leading to unhealthy, poor sanitation facilities and forced to live under Contractors exploitative circumstances, indirectly forcing them to vacant the lands.

There are toilets in this community but they are non-functional due to no basic facilities like water, electricity and regular cleaning services. The broken doors and toilet seats makes the situation so pathetic that few toilets have just collapsed and some are about to fall down and touch the ground. Because of these issues, people here face several other problems associated to it like felling down in the toilet, mosquitoes, fear of snake, rat bites, open defecation, stinking, stains of butka, pads, choked up, etc.

People have to wait every day for at least 20 minutes as the number of people using the same toilet is very high. Also lack of cleanliness forces men’s to defecate in the open. Several times people of Jai Bhim Nagar have written letters to Nagarsevak, MLA and B. M. C. for setting up or repairing for proper usable toilets. Their voices always remained unheard due to political pressures from Builders.

I have been living in Jay Bhim Nagar since 16 years. Due to all the above atrocities myself, my family and the entire community has been going through, I decided to do Community based Participatory Research and Advocacy with PUKAR organization in my community. Thus formed a research group named Udaan Tarang and did research on 'Problems faced by the people due to non-functional toilets in Jai Bhim Nagar, Powai'; inorder to find sustainable solutions to it. To know more about our research group and learnings click on this link https://youtu.be/Vif3VSpF2RY .

As per the research survey done in Jai Bhim Nagar, When asked whether people in this community defecate in open area?, 70% have said 'Yes'.

On the complaint by high class society people around Jai Bhim Nagar B.M.C workers started doing Patrolling daily morning and started hitting men's found defecating in open, also collecting fines.

A woman resident of Jai Bhim Nagar said, "We can't go for open defecation and don't have any other option, so we have to forcefully use the community toilet which is pathetic."

The womens of the slum were the hardest hit and raises question about women's safety and security because of no light, people hiding and seeing, eve teasing, etc. Women and young girls not only have to protect themselves from eve-teasers on their way to the toilet but also have to endure the repulsive stench emanating from the toilet.

87% (i.e 174 out of 200 respondents) of them don't feel safe to use public toilets of Jai Bhim Nagar during night time.

To add to that, she has to be constantly vigilant about who might enter accidently as the toilet has a black Patra sheet with lots of holes hanging for privacy in place of a door.

"We don't eat or eat less food at night in fear of going to Toilet at night, which is unsafe and wait till the morning" - said by a Jai Bhim Nagar resident woman.

Women who lack access to clean, safe sanitation tend to drink less water and control their bladders for as many as 13 hours a day. This has significant, long-term effects on their reproductive, sexual and overall health.

In Jai Bhim Nagar, Powai there are more than 400 families and around 1450 population size. Maximum 10 toilets at its vulnerable situation can be used because of no other option. Thus, 1 toilet for around 145 people. Too Many Users Per Toilet.

As pert SBM-U guidelines, one toilet seat should not be used by more than 25 people ideally, but in Mumbai the current ratio is anything between 75 to 100 people per seat. It is this gap that is proving to be a challenge for the city to live up to its ODF status.

Out of the above 10 toilets also only 4 are for women and 6 for men. The unequal allocation of toilet seats makes it more difficult for women to receive appropriate sanitation and there is not a single toilet for the differently abled.

“Guests don't like to visit. People don't give girls for marriage in this community" said by a resident of Jai Bhim Nagar.

There is one cement constructed community toilet in Jai Bhim Nagar Community which is not in use because of no electricity and a non-functional sewage system also reason for getting choked up. The community people took an initiative and repaired the toilet from money collected but B. M. C. didn't gave the permission due to which the work stopped in between. It would be great if the B. M. C. gives the permission and supports the community. There is availability of toilets but it is not affordable and accessible for them.

There are few NGOs who are doing commendable job in helping out the children in this community with their education like giving free coaching classes, mentors, scholarships, free food, vocational training, etc. Despite of all these efforts the community is suffering due to non- functional toilets, especially women's as they don't have any other option, atleast men's have mobile toilet to go.

I wrote a poem which tries to address the problems faced by the women's in Jai Bhim Nagar community from their perspective,

मैं हूँ आज की नारी, कुछ कहना चाहती हूँ
मेरी परिस्थिति और शौचालय के बारे में

रात का कहर है यहाँ
शौचालय कैसे जाऊँ मैं
घना अँधेरा है वहाँ
कभी जाना हो तो सहेलियों के साथ
कभी पति के साथ जाऊँ मैं
यह कैसी दुविधा है
कभी डर के मारे
रात को कम खाना खाऊँ
और पेट पकड़कर सो जाऊँ मैं ।।१।।

शौचालय आते जाते
मुझे देख लोगों की नजरें
ऊपर नीचे होती हैं
इसमें कहाँ मान है मेरा
इसमें पूरा अपमान है मेरा
मैं एक स्त्री हूँ
मेरी झुकती गर्दन,आंखों में शर्म, दिल में आग
देख के मेरा वजूद कहता है, कहाँ खो गया है सम्मान तेरा ? ।।२।।

शौचालय ऐसा बैठूं तो गिर जाऊँ
ना दरवाजा है ना पिछवाड़ा है
अंदर से बाहर से सब खुला है
मैं तो यही कहूँ
यह शौचालय है या कोई नाला है ।।३।।

इज्जत घर है शौचालय
महावारी आती है
पैड्स, कपड़ा, चिंदी का
ढेर लगा जाती है
अंधेरी रात चूहे, कीड़े, मकोड़े
और साँप संग लाती है
तब जान पर बन आती है ।।४।।

आदमी तो जा सकता है, शौच के लिए बाहर
उसके पास तो एक जरिया है
लेकिन मेरा क्या मुझे तो वहीं जाना है
संभल के, गिर के, फिर संभल के
घर वापस लौट आना है ।।५।।

मैं रही मजदूर, गरीबी से मजबूर
मेरी अरज कोई क्यों सुनेगा
ना सुनने वाला तो वह ऊपर वाला है
यहाँ बच्चा, बूढ़ा, अपाहिज, औरत, आदमी
किसी को किसी का न सहारा है
आने वाली नस्लों का भविष्य है यहाँ
उसका कहाँ बसेरा है? ।।६।।

बिल्डर्स का यहाँ बोलबाला है
पैसों का खेल सारा है
बंद पिंजरे में कैद कानून है
और सरकार भी तो हारा है
यहाँ इंसान इंसानियत से मारा है ।।७।।

कब तक ऐसा चलता रहेगा
हम सबको मिलकर इस परिस्थिति को जड़ से मिटाना है
इस फरेबी दुनिया को सबक सिखाना है
अब लोगों की सोच भी बदलेगी
और शौचालय भी बदलेगा
मुझे यहाँका हर एक शोषित
बच्चा, बूढ़ा, औरत, आदमी
सबको संविधान द्वारा जिताना है ।।८।।

All the concerned authorities please be more inclusive and show us that #AllAreEqual.

I earnestly request you to please sign my petition so that more and more people get aware about this issue and essential steps can be taken.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!