Open defecation and Public urination are such big issues in India, that they have led to a big Clean India movement called Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. In fact, there is a film made on this subject called Toilet - Ek Prem Katha (Toilet - A Love Story). The man in the picture shown, thought the poster of the film is an invitation to pee. At least, that is what it looks like.
But this issue shouldn't be taken lightly. Often our films (especially the popular ones) haven't realized the gravity of this issue. See (the video clip) how the film 3 Idiots has used this issue to just generate some cheap laughs. While the reality is people are getting thrashed in real life (there are many other horror stories though) for peeing in open. (Read this story by HT)
For academic purposes, let us limit this post only to public urination. Tackling open defecation in the same post might make the article look shitty. Also, let us not include public urination outside city limits on a long highway journey, with no utilities center nearby. I don't know how that problem can be solved. Plus there is a conflict of interest, as I might have succumbed to pressure in such situations, in past. Let me also assure you that Public Urination is not just an Indian problem. So don't think that only developing countries are embarrassed of their pissing men. Here are few stories for your perusal to prove my point.
San Francisco installs an open urinal to solve public urination problem. NYC can benefit from the same.
Some innovations done world wide - in places like Germany, Paris, UK, Chezch Republic - to solve this issue.
So now when it has been established, that it is not just an India specific problem, let us also understand a key difference. In the stories of developed world, providing better infrastructure or public shaming as solutions work. Because lack of infrastructure and wrong attitude are the issues there. But, in India, while lack of public utilities is alarming, the issue of doing it in open also has its roots in general apathy towards cleanliness and deeply entrenched patriarchy. Men think they can do it in open, because it is their right.
So while government should work on creating awareness, building infrastructure and maintaining it as well, here are five ideas which should be implemented to change the attitude of public in general.
1. Create an app, which reminds men to pee before they leave their homes or offices. On similar lines, the cab apps like Uber should ask men before they board the cab, "Have you urinated before leaving?". The ride starts, only if the answer is Yes.
2. Car / bike companies should invest in developing "On the go piss mechanism". Why stop when you can do it on the move? Also irrespective of scientific validity, spread the word, that piss-on-the-go increases mileage. Indians will fall for it. They will invite even the pedestrians to piss in their cars.
3. Just like public urination, people spitting everywhere is also an issue. A law should be passed, that all such spitters will now have to spit only on men urinating in public. I feel this might solve both the problems, actually. Pissers and spitters will kill each other, may be. Hopefully.
4. Just like tobacco companies invest in research that tries to disprove scientific facts like Smoking Kills , studies should be done in India to establish that public urination reduces the length of the tool and also leads to birth of girls (another social issue in India to be tackled separately). Spread WhatsApp videos on this subject. This will create a mass fear and nothing works better than that in India.
5. We have so many god-men in India like Frozen Baba, Chatni (sauce) waale Baba, who enjoy mass popularity. Government should help create another mythical Godman called Piss-Man. He will spread the word, that storing your own piss in a bottle and then spreading it in a urinal will bring in good luck.
Before you lynch me for suggesting such stupid ideas, I have to run away. Need to take a leak.
My last year's challenge post from letter U was a dedication to one of my favorite teachers, Usha Madam. Read it here.
My theme for this year's #AtoZchallenge is all about writing stories, anecdotes and observations from my life in form of easy to read listicles. You can read the theme reveal post here.