Write-up by : Freeda Nicholas
CM Sir, read your tweet today. Being a loyal Mumbaikar, imagine my joy. A feeling of euphoria engulfed me. No more sights of Strangers – men, women, children, transgenders squatting on railway tracks, below the flyovers, near the Mumbai coastline, near garbage dumps, besides our water supply pipelines; all engaged in the most basic of human functions, open defecation. Your tweet brought to me visions of a carefree morning walk on the seaface. The trot to work hopping, skipping and manuoering those lines of natural human manure, getting washed into the kind waters of the Arabian Sea, of leaking into our drinking water systems, all the while keeping my gaze strictly averted to block the faces and the gender of the people in action. All gone. No more! That’s what you informed me and congratulated the Chief of Municipal Services through your tweet. A ODF (Open Defecation Free) Mumbai. Amchi Mumbai. Where I have lived all my life, paid sufficient taxes, done all my civic duties of waste segregation, planting trees and the like. I opened my windows boldly to welcome the saline waft from the seas only to be hit hard and strong by the now familiar overpowering stench of rotting faeces, open sewers. And I balked. It dawned, it was another of those jumlas. You call it ODF. I, LOW (Look Another Way) while ODF happens.