‘Public Toilets, a Civic Necessity’

 Sanitation is air-born, in our soil, in our table water.
                                                           – Sonia Dhillon-Marty 

We’ve just announced that our 2014 Community Week Design Challenge will be on ‘Public Toilets, a Civic Necessity.’ The challenge itself can be tackled in any form or genre, ranging from a physical design, a public service campaign, to a policy paper. Interested? Find out more about it here.

Through this challenge, we want to not only to facilitate public toilets that adjust to local needs, but to raise awareness among people about the importance of sanitation to achieve a developed society. After all, an inclusive society is an idea where everyone has the right to reach its potential while upholding the balance between his or her needs against the needs of the society. If a society does not have the same basic level of sense of cleanliness, how can people work or live together? Just creating reserved seats or giving handouts does not build a flourishing society. People, from birth or even prenatal care, need access to food, sanitation, health and education for vocational and ethical development. As a visitor to India, the first thing one sees everywhere is poor sanitation; therefore, we have chosen to present this issue for this year’s Community Week as a challenge problem.

What do you think of the sanitation issues in India? How can public toilets be made more safe? Why is there such rampant public disposal in India, despite it being a country with rising numbers of billionaires?