May 18, 2014

Wanted: law against public urination

I was turning the corner in my lane recently when oncoming traffic was jammed up, and I found my path blocked by a man standing and peeing against the newly constructed wire fence to my left.The footpath had been cordoned off, so he could not go right up to the wall. This was no deterrent, so he stood on the road, shamelessly exposing himself to people around, and doing what he was privileged to do, as an Indian male.  

The corner of my lane has been a garbage and su-su point since years. Vijay and I used to walk back from the bus stand during our stint at ICRISAT and invariably find someone or the other peeing against our wall. Vijay used to stop to admonish the pee-er (!) while I walked on to our house in embarrassment.

We have had several ideas on how to stop this nuisance, from painting gods on our compound wall, to setting up a mock video camera, to throwing buckets of water from our balconies, to the more do-able having a watchman stand outside to check people. We also wondered if we could figure out a way to make the shock-giving contraption from 'Three idiots'. But the fact that the garbage point for our whole locality was outside our building re-directed our focus to fighting the garbage problem first, before we took on the su-su problem, because they were related.  

Why has there never been any movement against this nuisance? Shouldn't something be done about it? When fines can be imposed for wrong parking or for running a red light, surely a fine can be imposed for public urination?

'You stop, we stop'. I was overjoyed when I recently saw this video about an anonymous anti-public-urination group in Mumbai called "Clean Indian", who go around on a water tanker squirting water on men urinating in public. The video made me roll on the floor laughing, anguished as I had been with the nuisance for decades! Now, this is a great beginning towards a clean India, and this idea could be replicated elsewhere to bring about awareness and to bring the issue to the notice of authorities.  

Another idea that worked for a friend was to put up a board outside their compound wall "Mootrashala, kukkalaku matrame" "Urinal, only for dogs".  

This is not a battle of the sexes, and should not be interpreted as one. Public urination is unhealthy, demeaning, and shameful for our country, and SHOULD BE STOPPED. Why is it that only men cannot control their urge to urinate? What do women do? We wait till we get to a simple as that. We train our children to relieve themselves every time they leave home, so that they don't need to use a toilet for some hours. How's that for a simple solution?  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is a huge problem in our country,to say the least.Our politicians (from any party) have not included sanitation and disposal of garbage in theior agenda seriously and with an intention to work for it.They visit foreign countries and remark that their toilets are better than our draawing rooms!Punishing the culprits may be an answer.But then,monitoring is a huge task!This problem has always bothered me.God help our country.jaya