It was heartening to read the bold editorial “A stinking mess” (Oct. 10) at a time when everyone is afraid of calling a spade a spade. Minister Jairam Ramesh has rightly stressed the urgent and genuine need to construct more toilets. The Opposition has latched on to the peripheral issue, ignoring the core issue.
The temples-outnumber-toilets remark by Mr. Ramesh is neither an alliteration nor a hyperbole. It is a pertinent observation reflecting the reality of the absence of prioritisation in society.
What Mr. Ramesh said was right. His statement only reinforces what we have known all along — that cleanliness is next to godliness. The Opposition is raising a hue and cry only to serve its political ends.
It is of course necessary for the government to drive home the importance of using toilets and end open defecation. But it is more important to develop the culture of using toilets among the rural societies.
While doing my post-graduation in Gandhigram Rural University, I visited many villages of Tamil Nadu as part of a group. We found that all households had toilets but they did not use them for the purpose they are intended. Many kept their firewood and other household things there. Many people believed that the use of the same toilet by everyone in the family would lead to the spread of diseases. It is important to spread awareness on the advantages of using a toilet among villagers.
Ashok Jacob Mathews,
The Minister’s comment should be taken in the right spirit. The public toilet near the Udipi temple tank stinks and has no water.
A temple attracting tourists from all over the world and vested with huge funds through donations should endeavour to provide basic facilities. They can even charge some money for use which, I am sure, people will not mind paying. K.R. Chandrasekaran,