New Delhi: After a minor from a Delhi slum was raped when she ventured out to use a community toilet last year, a survey was held to assess slum children's access to toilets and it was found that 81.6 per cent of children living in Delhi slums do not have a toilet in their home.
Living in an unsafe environment amidst drunkards and drug addicts, and having to answer nature's call after sunset comes with its own set of risks.
In a Delhi slum known as Israil Camp, 12-year-old Priya's (name changed) small 6X10 sq ft home, which houses six members, does not have a toilet. "There are no community toilets nearby, and, so we do not go there," she said.
Priya revealed that there is always a fear of being attacked by the drug addicts or drunkards who lurk around. Besides, she said, the residents also have to be wary of snakes and insects.
A total of 423 children from four slum areas of Delhi-Inder Camp, Israil Camp, Kalyan Vihar and Sanjay Camp - participated in the survey, conducted by the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation (KSCF).
Of them, 295 children reported having access to toilets, private or community. Out of the 345 who don't have a toilet at home, 203 children (58.8 per cent) revealed they use community toilets ('pucca' toilets), 14 children (4.06 per cent) use mobile toilets, and the remaining 128 children (37.1 per cent) defecate in the open.
By Kelly Kislaya