December 24, 2005

A lot of currency

Toilets in the news, though not all funny stuff.

In the Hindustan Times (Friday December 23): Toilet explodes, injures 6.

"Excessive gas" caused the explosion of the sewage tank of a communal toilet in a slum area in Deonar. It had a faulty outlet and finally could not hold the gas in any longer. "The roof ... caved in, injuring six people. ... [F]ive women [were] trapped inside."

What can you say.


In HT (Saturday December 24): School turns its back on girl students, parents cry foul.

Chembur's Our Lady of Perpetual Succour (aside: what does that mean anyway?) School has been an all-boy institution for 50 years. In June this year, they decided to "go co-ed up to the fourth standard." About 60 little girls joined the school.

But just six months later, the school authorities have changed their minds and are going back to being a boys-only institution. Why? Among other problems, they haven't got "approval for toilets for girls" (presumably from the Bombay Municipality). Though they tried. One parent told the press that "the floor plans for additional toilets for girls have been approved and a tender was floated on August 18."

Questions: Why should a school need "approval for toilets for girls"? What must we think about a government that demands such approval?

But I am more perplexed by this: how did this school admit girls when it did not have toilets for them -- worse, when it was still two months away from even floating a tender for the construction of those toilets? Why did sixty sets of parents admit their daughters to a school like this?


In the HT (December 24): Rabri's toilet trouble.

Rabri Devi, now leader of the opposition in Bihar, has accused the state government of "gender discrimination." Apparently the opposition leader's chamber in the state Assembly doesn't have a toilet. "Her husband ... Lalu Prasad Yadav had occupied the same chamber in the late 1980s."

What did he do in the late 1980s, I wonder. Not that I'm keen on an answer.

Also, Rabri Devi says "my repeated petitions to get a toilet constructed ... has fallen flat. ... The government has failed to find an engineer who will do it."

Well, may I suggest they get in touch with whoever that Chembur school approached to construct their girls' toilets. No, strike that.

But I also wonder: Rabri was head of the Bihar government for some years, till only a few months ago. Why did her government not "find an engineer" to build this toilet?


In the HT (December 24): Customs find currency in man's belly.

A certain Abdul Hafiz "swallowed a large quantity of foreign currency to escape detection at Mumbai airport." A Customs Additional Commissioner, Nishith Goyal, had this to say: "An X-ray revealed that there was a large quantity of currency in his stomach, though we are yet to ascertain what kind of currency it is."

Of course, I could tell Goyal what kind of currency it is: wet and sticky. Also, I would give a lot of currency to see that X-ray.

The report continues: "Further investigations rest on the contents of his excreta. The samples collected will be the main evidence in the case of smuggling."

It's lucky Hafiz isn't a girl student at a certain Chembur school, or the leader of the opposition in Bihar: collecting those samples might have been somewhat difficult. Then again, he might be very clever and ask for permission to turn over the samples at a communal toilet in Deonar. There, the evidence is likely to, shall we say, hit the fan.

And of course, I'm very keen on visiting the courtroom when the samples, all that "main evidence", are presented to the court. "My Lord, Exhibit A was excreted at 11:03 am ... My Lord, you're looking a little pale!"


Postscript: Added links above for those who think I made this stuff up.


wise donkey said...

currency xray?? or did he swallow some coins. i am tempted to check ?the HT to make sure you arent pulling legs.
if true :)) the things that have to be presented as evidence OMG:))

on the school, thats so irritating.
and unicef says,
Of India’s 700,000 rural primary and upper primary schools, only one in six have toilets, deterring children - especially girls - from going to school.

just a thought, these are the only incidents, when the toilet is mentioned in the media.
and then unicef again says

More than 122 million households in the country are without toilets. Even though toilets are built in about 3 million households every year, the annual rate of increase has been a low 1 per cent in the past decade

and then as u pointed out, if rabri and lalo couldnt do it for their family, the rest dont have any right to complain.
Merry Christmas:)

zigzackly said...

Hey. That's my school!

Didn't know they had gone co-ed.

Side note: if I remember my history right, the school was split from the what was a co-ed school, St Anthony's -- just across the playing field -- because, I assume, that generation didn't believe boys and girls should study together. All those hormones.
St Anthony's is now a girls' school run by nuns, and OLPS, named after the church (well, not quite; the church uses Help, not the five dollar word), was run by the Redemptorist padres.

It sounds to me like OLPS was going after the bucks. Though I wnder how they'll fit them in. I haven't seen the facilities expanding, and way back when I studed there, there were already around 60+ students per division, and four divisions per class. And the primary and secondary schools operated at different hours, to be able to reuse the classrooms.

The lines for admissions are frightening. Last year, a friend of mine queued up from the previous night outside St Anthony's just to get an admission form for his little daughter. OLPS has similar scenes.

Now I know why I'm terrified of having children.

Dilip D'Souza said...

WiseD: I added the links so you can see I wasn't pulling legs!

Petey, how interesting that you're from that school. Why don't you call and ask what's going on?

wise donkey said...

thanks i read it.

its not that i dont believe you, but it just seemed so bizzare.

Anonymous said...

Dilip, this is regarding the article you wrote on
I am just an hour short of leaving for the airport and have two dozen things to take care of, but I need immediate gratification wrt one thing.
You still talk about "forthright examination of what went wrong and how justice can be brought about".
Well, you can talk all you need to, blog all you need to till the cows come home or go to the abattoir (sp?) but that's not the question.
In their "fight for justice and freedom" on behalf of their "Kashmiri brethren",the Paki Muslim scum have brought AK-47s and guns to Bangalore. Now, you dont know shit about Bangalore, let me tell you that. Go to a gully in Chamarajpet or an old bungalow in Basavanagudi to get a feel for the real Bangalorean, not the Sindhi/Marwari/Punjabi/Bihari ones crowding pubs on M.G.Road. If the scums have brought bombs to these people, I say to the guys "Please accept my middle finger to your version of justice and fairness".. You still want to intellectualize and empathize with *them*? Oh, you are a bleeding heart, Dilip. Believe me. And full of it.