- Mani (Early Child Care & Curriculum Support)
There have been many times when I have walked into a public toilet in a railway station or a bus stand and walked out unable to use it. I have always wondered why people defecated all over the floor instead of inside the toilet bowl. Now I know why this happens.
At Gubbachi, once we had our water in place, and the toilets were actually fully functional, we thought things will be easy. A few mornings later the Akka’s, helping with the little ones, went to clean the toilets before the children were to use it. We did not see them for close to an hour. When they did show up later we were told they were delayed because there was shit all over the toilet floor.
As we got to the ‘bottom’ of it we realized that the little ones (3 to 6 year olds) were terrified to use the toilet. They feared they would fall into the bowl. The regular sized Indian toilet bowl was too large for them. Usually the Akka’s cajoled them into using the bowl, ensuring they will hold them and that they would not fall. This was not a foolproof method as the ‘urgent’ ones could not hold till they were suitably convinced that the hole would not swallow them up.
Also one Akka and 4-5 children meant she could not be there for every child. In the absence of the Akka’s the children generally used the floor in the toilet to finish their ‘jobs’. This means that everytime a child wants to use the toilet they had to be accompanied by Akka. On days Akka is absent or otherwise occupied, the child does not think twice about running behind the bushes and answering natures call.
When we are talking about Souchalayas for all, are we thinking about the user?...our little ones for example J