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24 Jul 2017

Build toilets or sell your wives? Aurangabad DM sparks controversy

Sexual violence against women and lack of toilets

Stirring up controversy, Aurangabad District Magistrate Kanwal Tanuj stated that those who cannot build toilets should sell their wives.

Addressing a cleanliness drive in Aurangabad's Jamhore village, he was promoting the Swachh Bharat Mission and highlighted the fact that a large number of women get harassed or raped due to lack of toilets.

Let's explore the substance behind this controversial statement!

In context

Sexual violence against women and lack of toilets

Spare Rs. 12,000; protect your wife's dignity: Kanwal Tanuj

Referring to the Swacch Bharat scheme, Tanuj asked, "It only costs Rs. 12,000 for the construction of the toilet. Is 12,000 more than anyone's wife's dignity? Who can let her wife get raped in return of Rs. 12000?''

What transpired?

Tanuj takes it up with an insulted crowd

Tanuj is seen asking the crowd whether anyone would exchange their wife's dignity for Rs. 12,000 in a 32 second video released by ANI.

When a villager responded saying he lacked funds to build toilet, he was clearly annoyed and suggested that he should sell his wife.

Also stating that people spend advance payments under Swachh Bharat on useless things, he criticized their mentality.

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Are women more vulnerable without toilets at home?

A 2016 Study identified women who stay at villages where open defecation is prevalent are at twice as likely to face sexual violence than women who have access to household toilets and highlighted an urgent need to build adequate sanitation infrastructure.

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