Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.


Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence


Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English

Museum Seeks to Convince Indians That Toilets Are Not Dirty

A replica of the wooden throne used by King Louis XIV is among a treasure trove at the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets.

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:November 20, 2017, 5:29 PM IST
facebookTwitter Pocket whatsapp
Museum Seeks to Convince Indians That Toilets Are Not Dirty
Representative Image (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ NARINDER NANU)

A throne with a built-in commode for a French monarch takes pride of place at a New Delhi museum trying to break taboos surrounding toilets in a country where such convenience remains a sensitive issue.

The replica of the wooden throne used by King Louis XIV is among a treasure trove at the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, tucked away in a bustling suburb of the Indian capital.

The French king is believed to have struggled with constipation and held audiences while defecating to save time, say the museum curators.

Scores of curious visitors stop by daily to see the centuries-old commodes, chamber pots and bidets as well as a 21st century machine that turns human waste into ash in seconds.

"It is quite an unusual museum and I believe it's the only one of its kind in the world," Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the museum and the non-profit Sulabh International said.

"The idea was to start a healthy conversation about sanitation and toilets. We wanted to tell people toilet is not a dirty word," he said, playing with a small black ball made from dried human waste mixed with glue.

Pathak said the museum has gained traction since being named among the world's top 10 whacky museums by Time magazine in 2014.

"Hundreds of visitors come now on the weekends," said the 74-year-old, affectionately known as India's 'Toilet Guru'.

The walls of the museum are plastered with toilet room jokes as well as Victorian-era pictures of 'basket women' in Europe carrying night-soil -- fertiliser made from human feces.

Toilets are a touchy issue in India where about 600 million people -- nearly half of the population -- defecate in the open, according to UNICEF.

Some 70 percent of Indian households do not have a toilet -- while 90 percent have access to mobile phones. More than half the world population does not have a home toilet.

Experts say open defecation in India stems from poverty and a belief that toilets inside the home are unclean. So people prefer to squat in the open.

Three years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a massive cleanliness drive, pledging to build toilets for all by 2019.

So far the government has helped install more than 50 million toilets across the country of 1.3 billion people.

The Delhi museum's collection also draws the curious to see a cushioned loo used in European gambling clubs which helped members keep an eye on table stakes without having to take a break.

One 18th century pot used by French royalty mocks the English by being designed as a stack of Shakespearean classic books.

"It is very interesting to see and read about the quirky designs and the history behind them," said Vinita Lodwal, a 25-year-old studying to be a nurse.

"It's informative and funny too," said Lodwal, as she posed for a selfie with her friend in front of an ornately designed commode.

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

| Edited by: Manila Venugopal
Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

facebookTwitter Pocket whatsapp

Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results
Listen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com