Woman Leaves House for Not Having a Toilet

April 19, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. do one’s business (idiom) [doo; unstressed doo, duh][wuhn][biz-nis] – another way of saying of “ to use the toilet”
Example: He went to the bathroom to do his business.

2. defecation (n.) [def-i-keyt] – the act of releasing solid waste out of the body
Example: Irregular defecation may indicate a health problem.

3. latrine (n.) [luh-treen] – an outdoor public toilet formed by making a hole in the ground
Example: Travelers in India can use latrines for their toilet use.

4. untouchables (n.) [uhn-tuhch-uh-buhl] – people who belong to the lowest social status in India
ExampleUntouchables in India have a hard time finding jobs.

5. sanitation (n.) [san-i-tey-shuhn] – the process of keeping places clean
ExampleSanitation in public places prevents the spread of disease.

Read the text below.

An Indian village woman has succeeded in forcing her husband to build a toilet in their house, after leaving him for eight days.

Anita Narre’s decision to leave her newlywed husband would be considered unusual. An NGO even offered Anita a $10,000 reward for her “brave” decision.

When asked why she decided to leave, Anita said it is not nice for women to go outside to do their business. She only returned after her husband Shivram finally built a toilet with his small savings and with help from villagers.

The Indian government is currently facing a very big challenge—there are not enough toilets for the country’s 1.2 billion people. Women in India especially suffer from the lack of toilets. 

Many people simply practice open defecation, wherein they relieve themselves in public or open spaces. People in the rural and poor city areas often do this, as they have no extra money to build their own flush toilets or community latrines.

But the government has also been pushing for change, as open defecation leads to many health problems. The Indian government has created a law that requires toilets to be built for communities, as part of a “sanitation for all” project.

In some states, local laws require public officers to build flush toilets in their homes, or else they will be removed from their government positions. In addition, special funds are being used to promote clean practices.

The government has also discouraged the hiring of untouchables to clean feces, in order to encourage people to use toilets.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How do you think culture affect people’s attitude towards cleanliness?
·         Do you think that the sanitation problem in India is an issue of culture or poverty?

Discussion B

·         How is sanitation being managed in your country? Please explain further.
·         How can citizens help keep cleanliness?


April 19, 2012