Mumbai, November 21: A Mumbai based activist Mumtaz Shaikh who started a campaign “Right to Pee”, has been listed among BBC’s 100 most inspirational women of 2015. The list of seven Indian women celebrated personalities include singer Asha Bhosle, tennis star Sania Mirza and veteran actress Kamini Kaushal. The list was announced on Wednesday.
Mumtaz Shaikh a Mumbaikar started the campaign “Right to Pee” which is a simple mantra that fights to give basic sanitation facility to women in India. Read Also: (Create awareness on toilets: Hema Malini urges young girls)
Shaikh said, “Mumbai has 3,000 free public urinals for men whereas women do not have a single one”. Do planners of towns think we are less human?” asks Shaikh.
Shaikh reportedly said, “I want the basic dignity for all my sisters in the city who go out in fear every day, wondering how they will relieve themselves if the need arises.”
In an interview with BBC, Shaikh said,”Women end up going to railway tracks or the fields to go to the bathroom”. Shaikh claims that the women going out for natures call have been raped.
Shaikh had fought a long battle to get toilets for women through her Right to Pee network and were successful in developing 96 such toilets in Mumbai in last one year. The Indian government had set aside Rs 50 million (US $7700) to build female toilets in Mumbai.
Shaikh who had faced troubled childhood got an opportunity to form an NGO, through Committee of Resource Organisation (CORO). Shaikh attended the meetings regularly held at their slums. Through which she strongly believed that issues of sanitation can be resolved by them after which the idea of campaign struck to Shaikh.
Her efforts were widely recognised and Shaikh was awarded the title ‘Daughter of Maharashtra’ by Maharashtra.