Good morning Mumbai - A film on sanitation by Rajesh Thakare and Troy Vasanth - National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

This film humorously depicts the day to day hurdles that the poor have to overcome  to meet their basic needs such as water and sanitation and the circumstances that force them to resort to poor sanitation related behaviour such as open defecation.

The film in a way provides a critique of how the poor tend to be looked down and blamed for their insanitary behaviour, but the fault actually lies somewhere else, with the phenomenon of urbanisation, overcrowding, neglect and lack of sensitivity to the needs of the poor at the policy level, the excessive burden on the existing public health systems, which are unable to cope with the ever increasing population of Mumbai, which is bursting to its seams.

Source: Troyvasanth Rajeshthakare

This film titled Good Morning Mumbai directed by Rajesh Thakare and Troy Vasanth from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad sheds light on the poor sanitation situation in India and the plight of the poor who are deprived of the very basic amenities such as water and toilets. The video humorously depicts the situation of a man named Pandu living in the slums of Mumbai and the day to day hurdles that he has to face to access the poorly maintained, overcrowded toilets in the slums. The film starts with the sights of the busy city of Mumbai and the sounds of radio FM, the daily entertainment for a huge section of the population in Mumbai and the familiar sounds of the radio jockey talking about the daily life of Mumbai encouraging people to share their experiences over the radio.

The film goes on to give a view of the train with people traveling in the Mumbai locals who pinch their noses while passing near the station to prevent the bad smell from entering into their noses. The camera then moves on to the daily routine of Pandu who lives in the nearby slums. Pandu's day thus starts with the noisy daily hassle of people, especially women gathering at the taps to collect water. Pandu's first challenge includes finding his way through the  long queue of people, especially women who continue to fight and argue over water, and also managing to get his share of the water by stealing water from the pipes into his tumbler that he has to carry to the toilet. Besides this, he has to fight his way through the crowded slum with people busy with their daily routines and rush to the side of the slum that has toilets, which look dirty and ill maintained. Here too, he encounters a line of people waiting for their turn to get into the toilets.

By the time he reaches the toilet, by coping with his discomfort, a gunda in the slum too prevents him from entering into the toilet. The film ends with the scene of Pandu, finally resorting to open defecation on the railway lines, busily manipulating his way in between the to and fro running trains followed by the scene of a number of people busily defecating out in the open, while people from the trains pinch their noses to deal with the bad smell of the excreta while the train passes from near the slum.