The United Nations observes World Toilet Day on November 19 annually. The main aim is to raise public awareness of more extensive sanitation systems, including hand washing, stormwater management, and wastewater treatment. It’s the last one, that we must be concerned about. The treatment of wastewater!
The theme of last year’s World Toilet Day was “Making the Invisible Visible,” But I think that some understood it in the reverse. The visible became invisible! Because that was in the air and not on the ground, gravity might have lightened the senses.
Indeed, as a consequence of Wee-Pees not achieving their targets especially when they are given the perks of flying business class from destination to destination to pursue those targets, corporates the world over, but especially in India have reportedly asked their HR departments to remove the designation from their organization charts. Some of those who hold those designations currently are massively relieved even if it means losing their jobs! It’s better, they say than relieving themselves inappropriately.
According to the Financial Express in an article written to celebrate World Toilet Day, “Around 11 crore toilets have been installed under the Swachh Bharat Mission, resulting in a paradigm shift in the mentality of 55 crore people who have stopped defecating in public, President Ram Nath Kovind remarked at the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention in 2018. Several countries, he added, want to learn from India’s success with the Swachh Bharat Mission”. True, that mentality has changed but what happens if you can’t find the toilet because of night blindness caused by Alcohol?
Is the alcohol to blame? or the designation? Or the person? Which of these was the cause of the inappropriateness? Can you blame politics for politicians who do the same to you, albeit figuratively? All these questions perhaps are too profound for a sane person to answer. Perhaps we need to be partially incoherent. Because there are inherents that may have to be examined!
Some people felt it was a genuine mistake caused by circumstances beyond the control of the senior officer. Certainly, it was beyond his control and that’s why he did it. But what was out of control? The mind or the body or both is the question people are asking! And still, the answer eludes.
Maybe it needs a drink or two to get to the bottom of it!
Airlines now, besides removing the VP designation, are reassessing the traffic lights in dark planes – earlier they showed the exits, but now, maybe they will point the way in a different direction. Or overnight flights will be banned! Or Alcohol – that is the low-hanging fruit – for everyone in the aviation sector! Or passengers! Like one flight left behind 50 passengers and took off!
Alcohol was also the reason why it appears that a car in Delhi, hit a scooty, and dragged the rider for 12 km under it mutilating her before killing her. It seems that alcohol has a way of putting up people for bravery and stupidity awards simultaneously!
But then again does alcohol make people do what people do or do people just do what they might have done otherwise? There is a philosophy that plumps for the former. According to it, alcohol makes people do things they wouldn’t do otherwise. The secret perhaps is different. They would have if no one were watching, but with alcohol, they don’t care who is watching, or they can’t make out that people are watching! Well, they should wear a watch, to know the time has come to stop! Then it will be All Cool!
But alcohol gives power to the have-nots. Where it is banned, even more power! And where it is found, well… the power to them!
Alcohol can light up many worlds! But not towns. Towns need hydropower to light up their world before they sink in the mire of excavation as did an entire one in north India. It was a town built on the deposits of a landslide, that began to slide when it was shocked by the sound and fury of weather and explosives! The land subsidence problem occurred decades ago too. A committee, the MC Mishra Committee, was formed to assess the reasons behind it. In 1976, the Mishra Committee warned against the excavation of the slopes, and removal of the boulders by digging and using explosives. That would have been an explosive report had it not been buried quickly under a landslide of paper!
But power is important. We will never learn to live without power, both figuratively and literally. Not necessarily hydropower. Loss of lives, homes, dignity, and livelihoods can be compensated, but the life after the loss of any one or all of them will remain.
And so long as we realize that, and take necessary steps ourselves to prevent each or all of them, they will continue to happen. But what steps can we take? One man’s development is another man’s misery. That’s not difficult to understand.
If you have to provide power to industry, to make goods that you need, then you have to evict someone somewhere, cut trees and vegetation and devastate that land – right? Wrong – The right to preserve doesn’t exist! Not unless you change the definition of development/success in the dictionary. And that cannot be done, my friend. Cannot!
Let’s leave it there on that All Cool Note! Because there are no answers as to why we have stopped pedalling (in the best sense of the word) the cycle of life.
Photo by Adam Jaime on Unsplash
This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.