Jun 23, 2011
Skewed sex ratio and lack of basic amenities has led to women suffering in the north Indian state of Haryana. Apathy and insensitivity of the government towards the health needs of women reaffirms the stark reality of gender inequality in the area.
Rohtak: Gender inequality is a stark reality in Haryana. While the social attitude towards girl child leading to the skewed sex ratio is well known, lack of women-specific basic amenities clearly indicates official apathy towards their needs.
Having a women population of over one crore, there are only 80 public toilets for women available in Haryana, which depicts a shameful picture of neglect of women's needs, sources said. While the government claimed to have focused on total sanitation programmes with a target to build toilets in every house, unavailability of public toilets across Haryana, especially in towns, has exposed the government's seriousness on the issue. Replying to an RTI query by Haryana Soochna Adhikar manch, different local bodies in Haryana have disclosed that there are only 80 public toilets for women in various towns of Haryana.
Most of these toilets are old and constructed 6-8 years back. State convener of the manch, Subhash, said that most towns -- including Rohtak, Jhajjar, Mahendergarh, Sonipat and Jind -- have no records about public toilets for women. The sub-divisional towns of Meham, Sampla and Kalanaur have denied existence of any public toilet in these towns. There are many towns which have just one or two such toilets.
For example, in Gohana, two toilets were constructed in 2003 of which one is non-functional. The industrial towns of Hisar and Panipat, which have a large number of women workers employed in industrial areas, have four toilets for women each, which were nearly six years old. Jhajjar town has no toilets while there are three toilets for women in Bahadurgarh.
Narnaul town has one toilet while Kaithal has six. The twin townships of Yamunanagar-Jagadhri have 11 toilets of which six were constructed by an NGO, Sulabh International, while maximum number of 12 toilets are in Gurgaon. "It was shocking that on an average, just one toilet is available to nearly 1.4 lakh women in Haryana. Lack of basic facilities for women at public places betrays the insensitivity of government towards their needs and health issues," Subhash said.