Monday, Sep 26, 2022
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The Upper Birth

Laloo's proposed green toilet could become the foetus that slipped

The Upper Birth illustration by Sorit

At midnight on February 26, near Ahmedabad, the Indian Railways gave birth to a baby. Bhuri Kalbi, seven months pregnant, was using the toilet in a running train when the foetus slipped out of her womb, passed through the chute and fell on the tracks. Recovering, Bhuri alerted other passengers. The train was stopped and a search mounted. The infant, a girl, was found unharmed on the tracks. Bhuri plans to name her Karishma, for miracle, or Jodha, for valour.

Little Karishma made it through the train's birth-canal just in time, for it's about to close. Hours before her birth, Laloo Yadav rose to present the railway budget in Parliament. Among his many proposals was one to create 'discharge-free green toilets' on trains. Instead of being dumped on the track, as it is now, the 'night soil' will be directed into containers that will separate liquid waste from solid, then recycle the liquid to flush the toilet. The birth of a future Karishma will be more complicated.

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