Dutchman feels ‘need to go’ on toilet tour of North India! | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Dutchman feels ‘need to go’ on toilet tour of North India!

This is one travel itinerary you’ve probably never heard of -- a toilet tour across northern India!

lucknow Updated: Jan 25, 2018 15:28 IST
Rajeev Mullick
Dutchman Harmen Leijnse embarked on the toilet tour on wednesday.
Dutchman Harmen Leijnse embarked on the toilet tour on wednesday.(HT Photo)

This is one travel itinerary you’ve probably never heard of -- a toilet tour across northern India!

Dutchman Harmen Leijnse, an Indophile who has studied Sanskrit for two years and sings Mukesh songs and loves Bollywood, reached India on Wednesday and embarked on this unique 12-day tour planned by the Finish Society. The tour will help him understand the hygiene and sanitation needs and practices of the people living in the region.

Leijnse’s thoughtfully planned ‘toilet itinerary’ includes field visits to cities where Finish Society is actively engaged in promoting good sanitation habits. Some of these places are Udaipur and Dungarpar in Rajasthan, Agra, Varanasi and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, and Darbhanga in Bihar.

The idea behind this out-of-box initiative is to get an outsider’s perspective on what the locals think about Finish Society’s sanitation and hygiene programmes and how they affect them.

Leijnse will maintain daily travelogues, which will be humorously titled ‘I need to go’. By doing so, he is looking at adding toilet humour, including local toilet tales, to a serious subject of cleanliness and health.

He also wishes to strike up conversations on what the local population understands about matters of health and hygiene.

Each day, Leijnse will interact with different groups -- grannies, granddads, kids, teens, women, men, government officials, masons and so on. He will pose questions to respondents everyday to fish out details such as how they refer to the call of nature as “number 1” and “number 2”, and how, every morning, they all “need to go”!

As part of this multi-level engagement, Leijnse will also shoot films on his mobile phone. These will be based on his daily interactions with people and will be uploaded every day on platforms like whatsapp, facebook, twitter and also the Finish Society website.

Leijnse, who also takes keen interest in martial arts, will also engage with the locals on sports like wrestling and kabaddi.