As Maslow and most of us know, we can't strive for self-actualisation if we still lack basic needs. What this means is: no, people will not be making merit or undertaking activities for the greater good if toilets at religious venues aren't clean.
Good thing Phetchaburi is making a change by building the first "resort-like" public toilet at Wat Sapang.
The project has been sponsored by Bayer and Government Housing Bank and costs around three million baht to construct. A group called "Quality Citizens" has spearheaded this project, with Associate Professor Trirat Jarutach, Assistant to the President of Chulalongkorn University, being the man behind the creative design of the new toilet.
The recently completed project is known as Sukaa Vimarn, or "heavenly toilet". If it sounds dreamy it's because the toilets are designed to resemble those from a resort, set amid the beauty of nature. There's also a small garden surrounding the entry and sides and the roof is made of recycled material: milk cartons. Importantly, and with corporate social responsibility in mind, the toilets are also designed to accommodate elderly and handicapped people, something many public places in Thailand still overlook.
With this creation, the "Quality Citizens Group" hopes to set an example for communities and other religious sites to follow. They also hope that it will be the little oasis travellers and tourists can look forward to get rid of their, well, sufferings.
_ Parisa Pichitmarn