‘Bathroom safety’ has become a big topic in India
India has a massive problem with safety, and the country is grappling with an epidemic of deadly incidents involving public bathrooms.
But this week, India’s home minister’s office has announced that the country’s biggest concern is public safety: a huge number of people have reported serious incidents of accidental poisoning, sexual assaults and sexual assault by men who use the public toilet, which has become the source of national debate.
The government, in a letter to the Indian media, said that the ministry has “seen a significant increase in reports of sexual assaults by men using public toilets” and that the incidents are “growing in frequency and severity”.
In addition, the letter said, there are reports of “at least 50% of cases of sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections in the general population in the city of Lucknow”.
The minister’s response to the problem has attracted an avalanche of criticism on social media, including a petition signed by over 100,000 people calling for his resignation.
Critics say that the government’s handling of the issue has led to a huge amount of unnecessary deaths and an increase in sexual assaults, with the police refusing to take cases seriously and failing to properly investigate.
The number of reports of accidental deaths has doubled since 2013, and police in the capital city of Delhi are currently investigating a spate of such cases.
But many people believe that the rise in incidents is due to the government giving the go-ahead to private companies to put up safety equipment in public restrooms, despite the fact that the equipment is not approved by the government.
Some people have said that this decision is part of a wider policy of privatising public facilities in the country, including health facilities and the environment, which is not conducive to public safety.
The ministry’s response is a response to this concern, which the Indian government has acknowledged in a public statement.
“The government has taken action to address the safety concerns raised by the public about the installation of new and improved safety equipment.
In the coming days, the government will ensure that the implementation of the government-approved safety equipment will continue,” the statement said.
Indian women in public bathrooms have been known to resort to “the best methods” to avoid being raped and assaulted, but this is only the latest of many deaths and sexual assaults that have been reported in public toilets in recent years.
According to data compiled by the Delhi-based Human Rights Foundation, there have been nearly 600 incidents of rape and sexual violence against women in toilets in the past five years, including at least 11 cases of rape.
In March this year, the Indian parliament passed a law that bans all forms of “gender-based violence” and bans “sexual harassment” by men in public spaces.
In May this year a report by the United Nations’ Children’s Fund (UNICEF) found that India’s child-free population is at an alarming rate, with nearly half of all children in the world living in poverty.
In response to that, a government-run website in March announced that it would set up an advisory committee to “conduct research into the safety of toilets and gender-based attitudes and behaviours in public places”.
The committee was to submit its report by June, and would recommend a “zero-tolerance policy” against the use of the public toilets.
The government has since issued a statement saying that the committee’s report is “not yet available”.
This is not the first time that the public has expressed concerns about the safety in public facilities, but it is the first such move in the last few years.
Earlier this year the government passed a controversial law, which had a chilling effect on freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
Under the new law, people who have already been convicted of offences such as “hooliganism, rioting and sedition” will be able to be imprisoned for life, and those convicted of “inciting communal tension” can be jailed for up to seven years.
A similar law had been passed in India’s southern state of Karnataka in 2017, and a similar bill had been proposed in the state of Maharashtra.
In 2016, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) recommended that the state, along with the other states of the country including Kerala and Tamil Nadu, take steps to “promote safer and more inclusive public spaces in their respective jurisdictions”.
India’s Home Ministry has not responded to a request for comment.