Defecation on railway tracks continues brazenly
Indians defecate everywhere And when there is a railway track nearby, the engine sound is a natures call for many But Indians dont have racist attitude towards nature when it comes to defecation they do it on beaches, on the hills, the river banks, water bodies, on streets they never look for cover, wrote Nobel laureate V S Naipaul in An Area of Darkness in 1964
“Indians defecate everywhere. And when there is a railway track nearby, the engine sound is a nature’s call for many. But Indians don’t have racist attitude towards nature when it comes to defecation; they do it on beaches, on the hills, the river banks, water bodies, on streets; they never look for cover,” wrote Nobel laureate V S Naipaul in ‘An Area of Darkness’ in 1964.
Indians still defecate, at will and at all places possible, but the railway tracks it seems that they fancy the most. According to latest statistics from the Indian Railways, in the last three years more than 50,000 people died on tracks after being hit by trains. Out of them, a good number came under the trains while performing their morning business.
Deaths on railway tracks occur due to various reasons including trespassing, avoiding bridges and using mobile phones. All deaths due to these reasons could be avoided, more so of people who still prefer the open tracks to relieve themselves.
A senior South Central Railway official said, “Unauthorised trespassing on railway premises, including the track, is a punishable offence under Section 147 of the Railways Act, 1989 and many who squat close to railway tracks too are prohibited as they often get struck down by a train while moving along the tracks.
K Adi Reddy, Secunderabad GRP inspector says, “In the outskirts there is still a problem of people defecating along railway tracks but there is a growing awareness and we too conduct awareness programmes.” In Bheem Nagar slum in Nangloi in Delhi, about 50 people lost their lives defecating in the open. They were run over by trains while crossing the tracks. Many lost their limbs to rushing trains.
In some zones, the railways undertaken the construction of toilets near slums that are close to railway tracks. M Umashankar Kumar, chief public relations officer, South Central Railway (SCR) said that presently there is no such provision but admitted that open defection is a problem especially in the hinterland.