Love, schmove. An Indian official wants people to make sure that future son-in-law can provide an indoor toilet before allowing the young man to marry their daughter.
The government has issued a “no toilet, no bride” campaign, the Daily Mail reports, after surveys showed more people in the crowded, poverty-stricken country have a mobile phone than access to an indoor toilet.
Jairam Ramesh, the country’s Minister for Rural Development, is already in hot water for claiming India has more Hindu temples than toilets, and now he’s telling parents to make their daughters wait for guys who can provide toilets, which probably won’t endear him much.
But more than 75 percent of the 1.2 billion people in India have a cell phone, while only 50 percent of households have an indoor bathroom, and only 11 percent have one connected to the public sewer system.
This has led to Mr Ramesh calling on families to not only consult astrology when deciding the perfect match for their daughters, but also to check if the potential husband has an indoor toilet, the Daily Telegraph reports.
You consult astrologers about rahu-ketu (the alignment of sun and moon) before getting married. You should also look whether there is a toilet in your groom’s home before you decide. Don’t get married in a house where there is no toilet.
Ramesh says India is the world’s largest open-air toilet and the country should be ashamed. Brindeshwar Pathek, the founder of sanitation charity Sulabh International, meanwhile, says the government should give cheap loans so families can afford to build bathrooms inside.
He also wants a law that makes defecating out in public a punishable offense.
It’s also dangerous for Indian women to head outside to use the bathroom. They traditionally rise before dawn to go, and there have been many cases of people lurking in the dark to jump the women when they venture out in the dark to do their business.