Indian woman granted divorce over husband’s failure to build a toilet at home

It is not the first time a marriage has been called off over a toilet. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 August 2017
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Indian woman granted divorce over husband’s failure to build a toilet at home

DUBAI: A woman in India has been granted permission to divorce her husband over his failure to build a toilet in their home, which forced her to relieve herself in nearby fields.
The family court in the northwestern state of Rajasthan ruled in favor of the woman on Friday after she argued that her husband’s failure to provide an indoor toilet during their five years of marriage amounted to cruelty.
Indian media reported that the woman had filed for divorce in 2015.
A report in the Times of India quoted the court’s judgement as saying: “We spend money on buying tobacco, liquor and mobile phones, but are unwilling to construct toilets to protect the dignity of our family.
“In villages, women have to wait until sunset to answer nature’s call. This is not only physical cruelty but also outraging the modesty of a woman.”
Justice Rajendra Kumar Sharma said women in villages often endured physical pain waiting until darkness to relieve themselves outdoors.
The judge labelled open defecation — a major health problem in India — disgraceful and deemed it torture to deny women a safe environment for relief, the woman’s lawyer Rajesh Sharma told AFP.
Divorce is only granted in India if proof such as cruelty, violence or undue financial demands are shown in court.
It is not the first time a marriage has been called off over a toilet.
Last year a woman refused to tie the knot in Uttar Pradesh state after her fiancé refused to build a toilet for the couple.
Nearly half of India’s population — almost 600 million people — defecate in the open, according to UNICEF.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to build a toilet in every home by 2019 in a bid to stamp out open defecation.
The government says 20 million toilets have been constructed since the start of the scheme in 2014.
— With AFP


Thousands of birds die at California’s Salton Sea

In this file photo taken on April 15, 2014 Budgerigars are pictured at Pairi Daiza animal park in Brugelette, Belgium. (AFP)
Updated 23 January 2019
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Thousands of birds die at California’s Salton Sea

  • The 350-square-mile lake is located in the desert near the Mexican border

SALTON CITY, California: Authorities say thousands of migrating birds have died at California’s Salton Sea this month from avian cholera.
The California Department of Fish and Game says ducks, gulls and other birds were found dead at the south end of the state’s largest lake between Jan. 8 and last Thursday.
Testing showed signs of avian cholera, an infectious bacterial disease. It’s spread through direct contact or from contaminated food or water.
Wildlife officials say outbreaks occur annually as a result of birds flocking closely together during migration.
The 350-square-mile (560-square-kilometer) lake is located in the desert near the Mexican border. It’s a regular stop for migrating birds.