| A woman constable on duty at a traffic post near New Secretariat in Patna on Tuesday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
They streamline the chaotic traffic on the city roads but their demands are rarely heard. Working in tough conditions, these selfless women traffic police personnel do not even have a proper urinal to attend nature’s call.
The 30 women traffic police personnel in the city even drink less water to avoid going to the toilet. To compound woes, the long duty hours, ranging from six to 12 hours exaggerates their problem.
Sushma Kumari, a traffic police on duty near the High Court roundabout, told The Telegraph: “There is no toilet for us (women traffic police). Most of the times, I have to hold my nature’s call. Also, I try to drink less water during duty hours. I know that holding on to nature’s call and drinking less water is not at all good for health but I have no option,” said Sushma.
She added: “Our male colleagues don’t face much problem during duty hours as they can urinate in the open like most people do in the absence of urinals. But we can’t do it.” Sushma told this correspondent that even if a report on the plight of women traffic police is published, nothing would change.
Vibha Kumari, another traffic police on duty at a post near New Secretariat said: “We have to be on duty for six to 12 hours. Sometimes, it seems like a patience test. Today, I have been assigned 12 hours’ duty. I am taking precaution by drinking less water.” said Vibha. She added that many of her women colleagues face problems like constipation owing to skipping nature’s call. “If any one of us suffers from loose motion, it becomes a nightmare. If possible, we take leave but if it is not granted, we have to face an arduous task by holding on to nature’s call,” she said.
Sanjay Kumar, Vibha’s colleague, said the women have to face very problems who are assigned duty near New Secretariat. “It takes women traffic police at least 10-15 minutes to reach the New Gardiner Road Hospital or Kotwali police station to visit the washroom. No woman police likes to be assigned duty on this post. We are aware of it but we can’t do anything,” said Kumar.
Despite repeated attempts, The Telegraph couldn’t contact Rajeev Mishra, traffic superintendent of police. Anil Kumar, sergeant major (traffic) admitted to the problems of the woman traffic police. “The woman traffic police have to face problems because of lack of toilet facility. We are trying to find an alternative.” Anil blamed Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) for not providing enough public urinals in the city.
However, municipal commissioner Kuldeep Narayan said PMC can’t be blamed for the problems. “Yes it is PMC’s duty to ensure enough public urinals to residents but we can’t construct those taking into account the plight of women traffic police personnel,” he said.
Experts said holding on to nature’s call could be harmful. Gynaecologist Dr Anita Singh said: “The most common problem which can arise by holding on to nature’s call is urinary tract infection. Ladies who suffer from the infection can also have problem during pregnancy,” she said.