[India] With She-Toilets, Chennai shows way in sanitation

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 – Times of India – Tuesday, 17 June 2014 (originally published Jun 16)

CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation is aiming for a clean sweep to tackle problems of female hygiene and access to sanitation — special ‘She Toilets’ have been planned for women in 348 locations across the city and will be opened by the end of the year. They will also be the first e-toilets (electronic, fully automated toilets) in the city. The toilets will have sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators.

“This is also the first time Chennai Corporation has done a detailed survey and mapping of where public toilets are required and where the public oppose it,” said a senior corporation official. “Earlier the corporation would only ask the zonal engineer where to put up a toilet.” These 348 locations include bus stands, markets and open spaces.

The toilets will come as a relief to women who work outdoors all day such as vendors, construction workers and police officers. “We have to stand on the road for at least five hours while on bandobast duty,” said Leela Sri, a woman constable. “There are very few public toilets that we can use and most of them are filthy.” Leela, who has been on the job for 11 years, said she and her female colleagues are prone to urinary tract infections and fibroids. “If more of these toilets for women come up, the next generation of policewomen need not face such health problems,” she says. Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation recently introduced these toilets . . .

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