Diane Coffey – No shame in a simple pit latrine

No shame in a simple pit latrine – Complete article/source – Diane Coffey, RICE Institute, Dec 11 2013.

Excerpts – Today I just want to take a couple of minutes to share a short story about a modest pit latrine.  Amit and I were doing an interview for the quantitative survey with an older man in Rewari block.  He answered our questions kindly and patiently, but when we got to the section in which Amit was supposed to observe the man’s latrine, the man said it not at the house (it is common in Rewari for people to built latrines on the plot of land where they keep their animals).  I told Amit to finish the interview and that we’d fill in that section later.  When we finished the interview, we again asked to see the latrine, asking whether there was a child from the house who could take us to the plot.

The man looked uncomfortable and said that that would not work.  We suggested we could find our way ourselves, and he said no, so we gave up.Why would the older man be ashamed of his latrine in a place where so many people practice open defecation?  SONY DSC

Well, in Haryana, people tend to build extremely fancy latrines, or none at all.  The fancy latrines have water seals that prevent bad smells and in many cases flush tanks – we even saw latrines equipped with both a western toilet seat and an Indian one.

Complete article/source – Diane Coffey, RICE Institute, Dec 11 2013.

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