Women in India, assailing the lack of public toilets available to them, have begun a Right to Pee Campaign…
The humorous slogan, coined by the Mumbai, India, media, masks the dependence of the population on public restrooms, and the imbalance of men’s rooms to those available to women, The New York Times said Thursday.
A government study indicated the public sanitation system of the city, whose population is 20 million, offers 5,993 toilets and 2,466 urinals to men, and only 3,536 toilets to women, and a 2009 study in New Delhi, the capital, said the ratio of men-to-women public conveniences was 1,534 to 132.
Activists like Minu Gandhi said the restroom disparity amounts to discrimination, and have suggested women begin demanding their right to equal access…”We all feel this is a basic civic right, a human right,” she said.
The newspaper added that Mumbai’s toilets are generally located in dark and unclean buildings, and operate as male-controlled outposts, with a male attendant often collecting fees for toilet use, but not for urinals.
Local politicians vow to respond — as they do to almost daily requests for simple access to civilized essentials like food, water and sanitation.
India’s claim to be the largest democracy in Asia sounds pretty hollow when you take a close look at the class structure perpetuated by self-serving politicians and greedy corporations. It needn’t be that way. The latest government always admits that — after each election cycle. But, little seems to get done.
India has recently pulled far ahead of China on one dubious development marker – air pollution in the country’s capital.
The air quality in New Delhi now often measures significantly worse than the air quality in Beijing, according to real-time air monitors run by the Indian and U.S. governments in both cities.
New Delhi, a landlocked, fast-growing metropolis of more than 16 million people, is regularly shrouded by haze and smog (sometimes euphemistically referred to as fog) in winter months, as barometric pressure and cooler air mix with construction dust, smoke from cow dung fires and car exhaust, which then hover over the city for days.
But this year, the air quality in New Delhi has seemed noticeably worse than previous years as the summer heat dissipates…
Cooling temperatures are trapping air pollution created by a rising number of cars, which is being supplemented by dusty winds from the northwest, said G. Beig, the program director of the air monitoring program at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology…
A database recently published by the World Health Organization also shows New Delhi with higher pollution levels than Beijing, but that database relies on official government figures. Beijing’s government has been criticized for down-playing the city’s pollution problems, and recently began tours of its air monitoring facilities.
The air quality both places doth verily suck. In truth, China has proven to be spending a higher portion of the national budget on fighting pollution than India – and many Western nations that were finally pushed into action a century or more after the industrial revolution.
One of the miscreants
Monkeys are threatening to overrun India’s top hospital after learning how to operate the newly-installed automatic doors.
Doctors at the flagship All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi said the horde of red-bottomed rhesus macaque monkeys – who have roamed the sprawling campus for decades – had figured out how to let themselves into wards through motion-sensor doors.
The compromised wards include the neurosurgery department and nearby patient recovery rooms, which the monkeys often invade, snatching food, terrorising medical staff and playing around with sensitive equipment.
They also creating bedlam outside one of the operation theatres, and when chased away by the hospital security staff hide themselves in the false ceiling only to re-emerge when the coast was clear to continue their chaotic activity.
“Some of these monkeys make their way into the wards. At least one monkey bite case is reported in the hospital every week,” Debjyoti Karmakar head of the resident doctors association said yesterday.
AIIMS spokesman Y K Gupta, said that the hospital had hired two grey langurs – another larger breed of monkey – to chase the marauding macaque monkeys away from the wards and residential areas…
The Delhi High court too has passed several orders to rid the capital of the monkey menace but to little avail.
Of course not. Monkeys rarely read the legal section of Delhi newspapers.
A group of male commuters travelling in a women-only carriage on New Delhi’s metro system were ordered to do sit-ups on the platform by the furious female passengers.
At least one carriage is reserved for women on every metro train in the Indian capital, where female residents and tourists have complained about sexual harassment on public transport for decades.
The metro has also become severely congested with the lines expanding into the suburbs over the last year and most regular carriages packed to capacity.
Police on Saturday led a crackdown of men using women’s carriages at a station in Gurgaon, a satellite development on the outskirts of Delhi, after a series of complaints – and women passengers joined in the action.
The offending commuters were made to pay a fine of 250 rupees while angry women slapped some of them and forced them to do sit-ups.
Har! That’s a genuine “Gotcha!”