everything we touch is art
everything we touch is art
A young girl sweeps fallen debris from a tempest that blew through her village of Katra Sahadatganj one recent evening. This remote spot in Uttar Pradesh — India’s largest state — has become the center of another gathering storm.
It was here two weeks ago where two young girls were audaciously attacked: raped and hanged from a tree. Inter-caste violence and patriarchal attitudes combined to make a chilling spectacle in this impoverished place of mud-caked children and hand-pumped water.
But the deaths conceivably could have been averted if the girls had had access to a toilet at home. Lacking one, on the night they were killed, the two teens did what hundreds of millions of women do across India each day: Under the cloak of darkness before sunrise or after sunset, they set out for an open field to relieve themselves.
Guddo Devi, 35, is a cousin of the two slain girls and says women normally move in pairs to avoid being preyed upon.
"When we step out of the house we are scared," Devi says. "And we have to go in the mornings, in the evenings, and when we cannot stop ourselves, at times we go in the afternoons as well. … And there are no bathrooms. We don’t have any kind of facility. We have to go out."
Others complained of harassment in the fields, but only now, after the double rape and murder, do they fear for their lives performing the simplest bodily function.
A Toilet For Change
Social entrepreneur Bindeshwar Pathak has offered to build a toilet for every house in the village. It wouldn’t be the first time for the man known in India as the “toilet guru.”
Nine hours’ drive away in the bordering state of Haryana, Pathak has already transformed the village of Hir Mathala with his simple two-pit design.
Swinging open the door to a toilet bowl built on a raised platform that stands 25 feet from the front door of the owner, Pathak says it requires only one liter to flush, compared with the usual nine liters of water.
With Pathak’s low-maintenance, low-cost toilet — about $250 — one pit gets filled while the other biodegrades the waste, which can be used as fertilizer. Each of the 144 households has been outfitted in this village, a village Pathak calls a “pathfinder … to show the entire nation that you should have toilets in your house. And here nobody goes outside. This is the beauty of this village,” he says.
Photo: Women shout slogans during a protest against the gang rape and hanging of two teenage girls. Beyond highlighting the rampant sexual violence in India, the crimes are drawing attention to a glaring and fundamental problem across the country that threatens women’s safety: the lack of toilets. (AFP/Getty Images)
Petra - Jordania (von iancowe)
43 years ago today » concert for bangladesh, august 1, 1971
↳ "i think the most memorable thing, really, was the fact that it came off and that it worked because there was very little time preceding the concert, to organize it. the concert happened to be on august the 1st because that was the only day madison square garden was available. so it was pure coincidence. and all the people that were assembled there with very short notice, very little rehearsal in come cases there was no rehearsal. i managed to do a little bit with the horn players and with the rhythm section but that was the main thing, that it actually worked." -george harrison