Imagine yourself on Platform No. 10 of Patna Railway Station waiting with all your luggage and family to board your train and you feel the urge to urinate, you’ll have to go from Platform 10 to Platform Number 1.
Patna Railway Station has 10 platforms but only one has a women’s toilet. And it’s an inconvenient one at that!
Patna Railway Station has been changed and beautified a lot. LED lighting, escalators, premium lounges, LED displays, beautifully painted staircase and walls are built for beautification and up-gradation. But the basic need like proper and clean toilet has been completely ignored.
According to one of the in-charge of railway station there are three toilets, but in reality there is only one functioning toilet, and that’s on platform number 1.
A “Deluxe Toilet and Bath” is built just outside the station by East Central Rail Patna Junction which is almost impossible to enter due to the bad odour. So a woman has to run to Platform 1 if she needs to urinate.
The toilets are not maintained, and it is common knowledge that infection and disease spreads from unhygienic toilets. Patna Junction is being ‘dressed up’ but the most important facility, is being neglected. Of what use is up-gradation if the very basic need is ignored, one may ask.
‘It is not a big problem for men as they are usually seen almost every where shamelessly standing and dirtying the wall but for women lack of proper toilet facilities is a major problem,’ said a traveller
According to doctors, women’s genitals are more prone to diseases than men. Thus women need clean toilets and on failing to find one they control their urge. This habit of not voiding the bladder causes many complications such as gall-stones and kidney-stone formation.
Women on the Patna Junction who need to go urgently to the loo have no option: they have to use the unhygienic, dirty toilet.
‘There is an urgent requirement for construction of at least one set of well managed toilets for men, women, and third sex on every platform of Patna junction,’ according to a transgender activist named Reshma.
Keeping toilets clean is also the responsibility of the users. Malls and airports have clean toilets because people use them in a proper manner. Also the maintenance staff are alert. What is also required is trained staff to educate the rural passengers on the correct way of using the toilets.
inputs and basic reporting by Tanya Trivedi