Tag Archives: Mumbai

Sewer Diving in Mexico City, Mumbai and Delhi

Watch BBC presenter Dallas Campbell help unclog a sewer in Mexico City in the BBC programme Supersized Earth. It ain’t pleasant.

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Golden Poo Award Finalist – Bum Bay

Sanitation Updates’ favourite to win the 2012 Golden Poo Award for best short film has to be Bum Bay. Set to the tune of the 1969 Indo-pop hit “Bombay Meri Hai” – transformed to “Bum Bay Meri Hai” – we see a mock tourist promotion film interspersed with explicit scenes of male open defecation.

The film was made by renowned Indian film advertising company Genesis run by Prahlad Kakar. Continue reading

India, Mumbai: man killed for taking too long in public toilet

Queuing for the Gents in Mumbai. Photo: Hindustan Times

A slum resident from Mahim in Mumbai ended up killing his neighbour whom he felt had taken too long in a public toilet. Locals feel the tragic death could have been avoided if only the civic authorities had provided sufficient public toilets.

“We have no sanitation facility. Sometimes, basic human needs take over all rationale. and that is what happened today. It’s a tragedy that two lives were destroyed over such a petty matter. The authorities must take note of this,” said a resident.

The unfortunate incident took place on Saturday evening, 28 January 2012, when Simon Lingeree went to a public toilet near Devaji Govind Chawl, the slum where he lived. With Lingeree apparently taking too long, Santosh Kargutkar (40), who was in the queue, started banging on the door and abused him

When Lingeree finally came out, the two got into a fight. Lingeree was knocked unconscious and rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead. A few hours later the police arrested Kargutkar and charged him with murder.

Source: Times of India, 30 Jan 2012

India, Mumbai: no toilets for cricket players

Local youngsters practise at Shivaji Park

Local youngsters practise at Shivaji Park, November 14, 2008 | Cricket Photo | ESPN Cricinfo

Azad Maidan, Cross Maidan, Oval Maidan and Shivaji Park. On these “maidans” or public parks of Mumbai, some of India’s biggest cricket stars like Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sandeep Patil, Ravi Shastri, Sanjay Manjrekar and Sachin Tendulkar started their careers. Mumbai has 211 maidan cricket clubs.

For decades the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has been fighting to equip the city’s maidans with basic facilties: toilets and drinking water. The problem is that many of these grounds are heritage sites with strict rules about any developments on them.

The authorities are not “ready to listen to anything”, lamented MCA treasurer Prof Ratnakar Shetty. The government suggested using mobile toilets, but Shetty that was not a practical solution. Not even political heavy-weights cum cricket officials like government ministers Sharad Pawar and Vilasrao Deshmukh have been able to help out it seems.

Former Indian cricket captain Dilip Vengsarkar too vented his frustration with the inflexibility of the heritage committee.

“We have been told that cricketers should use toilets at nearby stations. Is it possible for a cricketer padded up to go to urinate at stations?” asked Vengsarkar.

Read more about Mumbai’s cricket culture in:
Deepika Sorabjee, Mumbai’s maidans: Former birthplaces of India’s cricket gods, CNNGo.com, 01 Oct 2010

Source: Harit N Joshi, Mid Day, 16 Jul 2011

India, Mumbai: tackling open defecation in Dharavi

The municipal corporation of Mumbai (BMC) is finally taking action, after seven years, to stop Dharavi slum dwellers from using the Maharashtra Nature Park Society (MNPS) footpath as an open toilet.

Despite having a toilet in the vicinity, locals would defecate there early in the morning to save money. BMC sanitation workers would not turn up for days at a time to clean up the mess.

“The slums are on the opposite side of the park, while the toilet is near the park. There are many toilets constructed near the slums, but they don’t want to pay and use them,” said Avinash Kubal, director, MNPS. […] “This is a VIP road, and is used for commuting to airport and other cities. The sight of people and children defecating on the street is not very pleasant”.

Sanitation in Dharavi. Photo: India in Images

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Stinking data: 600mn Indians have no toilets!

No one would ever call Radha Jagarya fortunate. The 45-year-old widow and her four children live on the pavement in an upmarket south Mumbai suburb, scraping a living by selling flowers to passing motorists.

But in terms of public toilet provision, the family is well-served compared with other areas, with an adequate communal block a five-minute walk away near the US Consulate and another under a busy road in the opposite direction.

In slum areas, where more than half of Mumbai lives, an average 81 people share a single toilet. In some places it rises to an eye-watering 273. Even the lowest average is still 58, according to local municipal authority figures.

Unsurprisingly, it is still common to see people squatting by roads and railway tracks or along the coast, openly defecating in the city that drives India’s economy and where some of the world’s richest people live.

The UN estimates that 600mn people or 55% of Indians still defecate outside, more than 60 years after the scrupulously clean independence leader Mahatma Gandhi first talked of the responsible disposal of human waste.

Jack Sim takes a very keen interest in such matters. As the founder and president of the World Toilet Organisation (WTO), he has made it his mission to improve sanitation across the globe.

For him, India has “a lot of work to do” to improve sanitation, not just because of its impact on health and the spread of diseases such as diarrhoea, which Unicef says kills 1,000 Indian children aged under five every day.

It also tarnishes the image of a country that likes to portray itself as an emerging world economic superpower, the Singapore businessman said on a visit to Mumbai, where he was promoting World Toilet Day on November 19.

In particular, Sim questioned whether the authorities in New Delhi were doing enough to provide adequate public toilet facilities for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which will draw tens of thousands of foreign visitors.

“If you don’t have good toilets to welcome tourists, they don’t come and won’t go to all your beautiful sites,” he said.

Public toilet provision in Mumbai – and other cities – faces the same problem affecting housing, water and other basic services: supply cannot keep up with demand as India’s population explodes.

In March 2009, Mumbai’s municipal authorities said there were 77,526 toilets in slum areas and 64,157 more were needed. Work is in progress on only 6,050.

Yet the UN’s Mumbai Human Development Report 2009, published earlier this month, points out that even where public toilets exist, most have no running water, drainage or electricity, making them unhygienic and unusable.

Embarrassment means women and girls often wait all day until it is dark to go to the toilet, increasing their chances of infections and exposing them to violence or even snake bites as they seek out remote places.

Poor sanitation and the illnesses it causes cost the Indian economy Rs12bn ($255mn) a year, according to the health ministry.

Sim, who sees links between public lavatories and social development, wants the issue pushed up the political agenda, urging people to “talk more about toilets.”

“People go to the toilet more often than they have sex,” he said. “Everybody has to go.

“It needs to be a very nice experience. It needs to be safe, it needs to be hygienic, it must not cause problems to your health and we need to feel emotionally engaged with the toilet.”

Private sector involvement could help cut the number of people in India and other developing countries who have no sanitation – estimated at 2.6bn – while more schemes are needed to make open defecation socially unacceptable, he said.

In the northern state of Haryana, a successful “No Toilet, No Wife” campaign has been running, urging women to turn down suitors if they cannot provide them a house with a lavatory.

“Every problem is a business,” said Sim, adding there would be a benefit for the entire city and the country’s economy if every slum-dweller had access to proper sanitation.

“People who are healthy are able to produce more, they get out of poverty, they get into the middle class, they move up and consume more,” he said.

“Business is, I think, the fastest and the cheapest way… The private sector will come up with innovations. Let them compete to serve the poor.”

Source: AFP/Mumbai / Gulf Times, 27 Nov 2009