Little things in life

I am often in my own world. I don’t really take notice of the things around me at times. I zone out completely.

But there are a few things that bring me back to reality…

I was listening to our Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech. To be honest, I haven’t really listened to that many speeches by political figures, so I don’t know if they always sound that promising. While I hope that all the things spoken about do come true, the fact that some seemingly small topics were raised made me feel great. Very particularly, one little topic- mostly because it was something that bothered me throughout school, and this was the first time it was addressed so openly (that it was in a such a huge podium is a different thing altogether).

I liked that it was pointed out that boys too be kept a tab upon by parents. I really feel that. I feel that extremely strongly. But more than that, perhaps this may surprise people, but I really felt like applauding when the issue of toilets was raised. I genuinely cried from inside. Why?

Ok..so I live in a Metro in India, a big city. I went to a pretty good school too. It wasn’t a private school or anything, but it’s pretty good compared to MANY schools in this country-in terms of resources. One would definitely expect toilets to be there, and yup there were. They were separate for girls and guys too, yup. This by itself is a HUGE thing when compared to many, many places…

But, guess what? Water was missing 99 % of the time. There were no dustbins. They were never clean-they used to be cleaned around once a fortnight I think. The doors and locks were broken. And they just felt very open; anyone walking by could see inside. They were not really that usable. I never used them. Eight hours without using them is bad; I could have really spoilt my health very badly. It was torturous. Monsoons were even worse than usual days. I have even skipped school because of lack of bathrooms; in fact they were one of the only reasons I have skipped school. And this was the case throughout my school years, no amount of complaining ever worked. I know that many friends of mine have also suffered. I definitely think water scarcity would have been a problem for guys too: everyone needs a clean toilet. But bad locks, no water, and no dustbins is way worse for us to deal with. It feels nice whenever someone understand the importance of these little things.

Now again, people may say “ooOOOh there are like places with NO bathrooms, what’re you cribbing about Pfffft” But that’s exactly my point. If the situation is this bad in a school that has ‘good resources’, then I really can’t imagine what some other girls are going through. It is a basic right to live, to have a peace of mind…I have cried for myself during school, I cry for those other girls now. I really hope things become better. This is NOT a small thing.

I was reminded of this video that I saw quite a while ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Xk0u-4Z3KM

So, at first, I was impressed. Later, I thought it portrayed women as ‘need to be taken care of’. I think mostly because of the quote in the end :P But, I then decided to not look at it that way. When I saw the ‘moving the drawer in’, all I could think was—these are everyday things. Everyday heroes-all of us have to be this. We should understand those tiniest of things that can make others’ lives better. This is the least that we can practice on an everyday basis.

Many problems that need to be fixed seem overwhelmingly big-cures for diseases, changing mindsets and behaviours of people, reducing corruption…while we slowly combat them, let’s do at least this. Let’s try to fix those ‘little’ but big problems.

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