‘Lota’ party still the norm in Bhopal slums

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Nov 2017 11:18:58


By Tara Chettur,

‘Lota’ party is still active in Bhopal slum areas. There are toilets, but still, women prefer to go early morning in groups chatting and enjoying each other’s company to attend nature’s call .If one asks to find out what is the main reason they prefer to defecate in the open rather than using toilet at home, their answer is, mainly because it provides them free time to chit-chat. Another issue is water scarcity in some areas.

A 20-year-old newly-wed from Gandhi Nagar slum area says she prefers to go out in the open to defecate because that is the only time she gets some space to chat with other women. Rest, all of the time they are busy doing household chores. Inspite of having toilet, they are not using it and use it as store room or for other purposes. When asked about cleanliness mission and the need for sanitation and hygiene, she reveals her ignorance over the subject. She has got four friends, who prefer to go in open space to defecate and every morning, they meet for Lota party.

Like her, many are ignorant about the importance of hygiene and sanitation. Lota party is a term used for open defecation in film Toilet – Ek Prem Katha. The movie touched upon an important issue of sanitation and defecation. The creative poster of the film shows the plight of rural area, where women go for open defection as they don’t have toilet facility at home. But here, we can see women preferring to defecate in open even after having toilets, says Pehlag Bai, resident of Gandhi Nagar slum.

Avi bai, a 45-year old woman, who sends her children to school, says that awareness can only be created through education but here, the problem is mostly children are school drop-outs.

Girls are sent to schools till maximum class V. Open defecation should not be done as it not only pollutes the environment, but is also not safe for one’s own health.
There are also houses, where daughters-in-law are asked to defecate in open since, in joint family, rush is there and in a toilet, all cannot attend nature’s call at the same time. Bhopal, which was declared ODF in January this year, needs more awareness campaigns as women can be seen relieving in the open inspite of having toilet option, she adds.