Po­lice sta­tions’ shaucha­layas, not so su­labh for women cops

Women cops have it tougher, es­pe­cially if they are preg­nant or have their pe­ri­ods; the East re­gion of Mum­bai has poorly lit, wa­ter­less toi­lets for them, while male cops in one case, have none!

Mid Day - - City - ANAMIKA GHARAT [email protected]

SPEAK­ING of equal­ity, the con­di­tion of toi­lets meant for fe­male po­lice in the East re­gion, is as bad as those for male cops. The toi­lets are equally not main­tained, filthy and smell. The women in uni­form have no op­tion but to use them and hope noth­ing hap­pens to them, es­pe­cially when they have their pe­riod or are preg­nant. Many suf­fer from Uri­nary Tract In­fec­tions (UTI) which they claim is due to the use of the un­clean toi­lets.

No wa­ter, no proper light

The toi­let at the Navghar po­lice sta­tion in Mu­lund is ab­so­lutely com­pact, and it is a skill to use it prop­erly. In ad­di­tion, it is filthy and stinks be­cause of which it is also a health haz­ard to preg­nant cops who use it. The toi­let also doesn’t have a sep­a­rate light in­side, but is lit by a bulb placed over the non-func­tion­ing wash­basin near it. When­ever the bulb stops func­tion­ing, the women have to use the toi­let in the mo­bile phone’s torch. But first, they need to fetch wa­ter in a bucket from the nearby gent’s toi­lets, as they claim the Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (BMC) has in­fre­quent wa­ter sup­ply to the ladies toi­let. “We have been fetch­ing wa­ter from the gent’s toi­let and some­times, it is em­bar­rass­ing,” said a lady po­lice con­sta­ble. She fur­ther added that they have been us­ing drink­ing wa­ter to wash their hands. “We have been bring­ing our own soaps or hand sani­tis­ers be­cause noth­ing is pro­vided here,” she added. The other toi­let at the po­lice sta­tion has been shut due to the lack of wa­ter.

The men’s toi­let at the po­lice sta­tion is no bet­ter. It has not been cleaned for weeks. “Some­thing is bet­ter than noth­ing,” said a po­lice­man philo­soph­i­cally, when asked how they use the dirty toi­lets at work.

Waste of wa­ter

At Mu­lund po­lice sta­tion, due to a 24-hour wa­ter con­nec­tion in the toi­let on the ground floor, the floor is wet due to con­tin­u­ous leak­age from the tap. But noth­ing is done about this wastage ei­ther.

On open­ing the door to the Pant Na­gar toi­let, this re­porter did not dare to en­ter, be­cause not only were the tiles filthy, she nearly passed out be­cause of the smell. The toi­let bowls were also smeared with poop. A lady po­lice con­sta­ble said, “We had been us­ing this toi­let un­til re­cently, but stopped be­cause thank­fully we now have a good toi­let in our chang­ing room. But this toi­let is used by fe­male vis­i­tors to the po­lice sta­tion.”

Big­ger toi­let, more filth

Un­like the toi­let at Navghar po­lice sta­tion, the ladies toi­let at Pant Na­gar is big, and has a wa­ter con­nec­tion. But the good points stop here. The spa­cious toi­let has ac­cu­mu­lated size­able filth on the floor which ob­vi­ously em­anates an equal stench. The drainage pipes are clogged, turn­ing the floor into a putrid pool, through which women have to walk to reach the toi­let. There is also no soap in the toi­let.

No toi­lets for cops

But for male po­lice the sit­u­a­tion is even worse at Pant Na­gar. There is no toi­let for them! In the city of the metro, mono­rail, coastal road and the state with sam­rud­dhi marg plans, a po­lice of­fi­cer has to go be­hind a po­lice sta­tion and pee in the open. A po­lice of­fi­cer said, “There is one gent’s toi­let but it is al­ways locked due to lack of wa­ter, so we use the open area as a toi­let.”

Po­lice per­son­nel and women

Women po­lice per­son­nel suf­fer the most dur­ing their men­strual cy­cle. A 36-year-old woman po­lice con­sta­ble said, “We have to ad­just re­gard­ing toi­lets ev­ery­where dur­ing duty hours. We are left with no op­tion but to use it even though it is filthy. The sit­u­a­tion is the worst dur­ing our men­strual cy­cle as we can­not throw the used tam­pons or san­i­tary pads in dust­bins, be­cause there are none. Most of us suf­fer from UTI.”

An­other woman of­fi­cer re­gret­fully in­formed mid-day that they have to get their work place toi­lets cleaned by pay­ing from their own pock­ets. “We col­lect money from women po­lice and use it to pay a cleaner, else we have to suf­fer dur­ing our pe­ri­ods,” she added.

‘It gets worse when we can­not throw the used tam­pons or san­i­tary pads in dust­bins, be­cause there are none. Most of us suf­fer from UTI’

The filthy uri­nals in the men’s toi­let at Navghar po­lice sta­tion.

The floor at the toi­let at Mu­lund po­lice sta­tion is al­ways wet due to a con­stantly leak­ing tap

The toi­let at Pant Na­gar po­lice sta­tion

PIC/RA­JESH GUPTA

The non-func­tion­ing wash­basin in the toi­let at Navghar po­lice sta­tion.

A woman po­lice con­sta­ble

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