One billion raise a stink

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Many sneak out discreetly under the cover of darkness. Some make their way to the fields while some hide behind shrubs and bushes. Then there are those living in some of the world’s most crammed urban slums. Privacy or space is not an option here. They take to public spaces, busy roadsides and even railway tracks.

From holding their heads down to pulling a cloth over their faces – they attempt to cover their embarrassment and shame. Every day, 1.1 billion people suffer the indignity of defecating in the open.

From Asia to Africa and Latin America – open defecation exists in all regions across the developing world. And almost everywhere shit is the unspoken “dirty” word, a taboo akin to sex that is rarely acknowledged in public or seldom talked about even in the most private conversations.

In rural India they prefer saying “going to the jungle” and in Cambodia they call it “folding legs”. So stigmatised is the most basic biological function that colloquial expressions, code names and even numerical references are used in all parts of the world to steer clear of dealing with the muck.

Source: Al Jazeera English (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
poverty alleviation