The District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) is planning to soon launch 'She Toilets' with the support of shops and establishments in Ernakulam, Kochi. Often, women who come to the city are forced to hold urine for hours due to lack of public toilets. 'She Toilets' are expected to bring relief to these problem women face. These toilets will be installed in shops and women will be allowed to use them.
"Already 200 merchants have expressed their willingness to provide toilet facility in their shops to all women coming to the city. There are public toilets like bio-toilets in some parts of the city. But they are not functional. We are launching the project only in shops where at least four women are working and toilets are clean," said Basheer A M, DLSA secretary, to The TOI.
Authorities and shop owners collaborate
The project will be a collaboration between authorities and shop owners who have expressed a desire to provide the said facility for women. There will be boards outside the shops notifying people of the facility. Some shops also plan to provide separate feeding rooms for mothers. This would greatly help women who come to the city for work. There will be cleanliness provisions in these toilets as well.
"Though local bodies and other agencies had installed toilets in different parts of the city, many are dysfunctional. To ensure that the DLSA project continues without any hurdle, we will follow it up regularly," said Basheer to TOI.
Initiatives related to sanitation facilities
Sanitation and proper hygiene have become a national priority under the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan. Also, people themselves have been proactive in building toilets and empowering local people. A recent case was that of a daily wage labourer in Madurai. She has become the mascot of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Meena, the 37-year-old, has been working hard to make her municipality and neighbouring areas open defecation-free by constructing toilets. Consequently, she has built over 3,000 toilets.