It is amazing to read about a phobia called Paruresis, how can someone have such a phobia which would not allow them to release themselves in public? Well it would be so good if this kind of a problem take roots in India.
But Indian philosophy teaches us “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam“, which literally means the whole universe is our home, and I guess many of us have taken it to a next level….the next level where in logically every house will have a toilet ….. and ….. hence the whole world is our toilet!!!
Urban eyes see a wall in the city as a potential toilet. Well if we go by the walls in Delhi, there actually is no need to build them, walls in-between the roads, walls for public parks, walls for a traffic islands….walls and walls and walls….basically the policy is to build walls wherever nothing else can be built…and may be the people’s protest against these walls come in the form of the essential human liquid waste? though this has grown to a grave problem now.
As the rule goes, ‘for every problem there is a solution’, we too have developed numerous solutions for this problem.
The first and the basic solution was to put a statutory warning. But someone forgot that we are kings in breaking laws, for those who can break a traffic signal for fun, in the absence of a ‘thulla‘, how can you expect them to control the nature’s call with a mere warning!
Well the warning thing doesn’t seems working, so we came up with more innovative solution. The preliminary study for this solution revealed that Indians value their pride, so the language used in the warning has been slightly changed to a little more insulting format. This might have worked in a small town where people know each other, in cities like Delhi, who cares….“oh chad yaar ki farak penda hai”…..farak to nai penda, pur bund bund se hi to sagar banta hai….So still the problem persists….
When everything failed, the final solution came. Someone suggested that the image of God is the most sacred image and hence “the innovative indigenous solution for an indigenous problem”.
It is so amazing that usage of religion in designing public spaces can solve such grave problems. We have always been using religion in politics, in having different laws even in imparting values in our younger ones….but rarely in Architecture and Urban Design. If religion plays such an important role in people’s life then why shouldn’t we utilize it in our designs….may be we are in the evolution to use this factor also…I do hope so…
http://www.livemint.com/2008/02/27185756/IIT-Kanpur-scientists-develop.html (viewed on 04 July’ 2009)