Potty Park


Toilet Garden

Yes, there is a Toilet Garden in Ahmedabad.  Toilets or the lack  thereof are quite a problem in India. Gandhi said that sanitation is more important then independence. And after all these years it is still a  huge problem. Most of the cities and villages where the poor live in slums have no sewage system so if there were toilets removal is a monumental challenge.  More Indians have cell phones and electricity than have indoor, sanitary toilets and bathing facilities.  It is estimated that 640 million Indians still defecate in the open.  In 1963, only 8% of Indians had toilets, but as noted in the 2011 census, 55% of the country has access to clean, safe latrines now. That is progress.

Human scavengers are responsible forthe degrading and dangerous job of removing  human feces from the dry latrines. Due to the indignity of this work, this community of workers were labeled untouchable.  How can anyone who saw Slum Dog Millionaire ever

forget this picture?23slide2

Gujarat, the state in which we lived, is making progress in teaching sanitation to the villagers.  There is a large yellow bus that goes from village to village teaching all who come the fundamentals of sanitation. Hopefully the  toilets will arrive soon.


We would laugh and rate the toilets we visited ….some got a “1” just for being there.  We carried toilet paper and shared when  others were  out. And of course we had plenty of hand  santitizer.   Things are changing ever so slowly for the Indians as far as sanitation and toilets are concerned, but not fast enough, I would say! In my mind clean safe toilets should be declared a “universal basic  human right” by  the UN. That would be positive project for them to undertake to  improve conditions for all the world’s poor.

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
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8 Responses to Potty Park

  1. Ray Luke says:

    In Tudor times those that cleared latrines were known as Gong Farmers.


  2. LaVagabonde says:

    I’m very grateful for my indoor toilet.


  3. This is one of the saddest things about my country, that so many people have no access to toilets. I wish our government would prioritize this. The poor scavengers would be relieved of their dehumanizing jobs then. Seeing all this up close all my life I don’t take anything for granted, you know, running water, electricity, home, loos, cars, holidays – every single thing is a gift.


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