Source – Henna Rakheja, May 16, 2012 – Deccan Herald
Reading your morning paper? Done with nature’s call? Now explore a place which in all likelihood will pull your eyes out and have your fingers itching to reach for your nose!
Delhi ‘boasts’ of having the first ‘toilet museum’ of the world. Yes, you read that right and Metrolife brings you a closer look at this unique collection which is situated in Dwarka. Definitely a ‘first-of-its-kind,’ the museum has a rare collection of facts, pictures and objects detailing the historic evolution of toilets from 2,500 BC to the modern day technologies from around the world.
The museum gives a chronology of developments relating to technology, toilet-related social customs, toilet etiquettes and sanitary conditions of various eras. It also includes an extensive display of privies, chamber pots, toilet furniture, bidets and water closets in use from 1145 AD to the modern times. Add to this, there is an entire wall dedicated to awareness on sanitation through caricatures, posters and funny one-liners.
DELHI, India—Ah, the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets! How’s that for a place to take the wife and kids on a Sunday afternoon?
It’s hard not to smirk when this museum’s name is first mentioned. It sounds like a roadside attraction, something you find just a ways down the road from the World’s Oldest Rug (St. Augustine, Fla.) and the World’s Largest Ball of Twine (Cawker City, Kan.).
But when you visit the museum, the smirk evaporates. It’s not the museum itself—a rather small collection of lavatory oddities that includes a replica of Louis XIV’s throne with a hidden commode that allowed the monarch to evacuate his bowels while giving audience—that changes a visitor’s mind. Instead, it’s the trip to the museum through the streets of Delhi, India. There, where 18 percent of the population still defecates openly and where 20 percent of children who die under the age of five do so from water-borne diseases, the true purpose of the museum becomes evident: It’s a way to lure in visitors and introduce them to the Sulabh International Social Service Organization and its Sulabh Sanitation Movement.
Sulabh, which translates to “simple” in Hindi, is the brainchild of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, a Brahmin snoot-cum-egalitarian who has transformed the lives of millions of impoverished people across South Asia with the introduction of low-cost composting latrines. Because they require little or no water to operate, the latrines solve the problem faced by poor cities and rural areas alike: no sewage system.
Sulabh has also rescued and retrained more than 120,000 “scavengers,” members of the low-ranking Dalit caste in Indian society whose lifelong job is to empty household latrines, carrying the contents away in buckets on their heads. The practice is now illegal but continues in many rural areas. Sulabh’s organization offers scavenger families vocational training and formal education.
WORCESTER, Mass. | If there was ever a man who could appreciate a good toilet, it is Russell Manoog.
He has dedicated the last 20 years to collecting toilets, as well as sinks and other accoutrements of indoor plumbing, the way other men collect golf shirts, trophy wives, or fine cars.
The result is the American Sanitary Plumbing Museum, a roadside oddity in Worcester known to many as simply the ‘toilet museum’ and a historic showcase to the way we used to live, wash, bathe, and, of course, relieve ourselves.