ROORKEE: Many would say that 58-year-old Ramesh Bhateja’s hobby is quite an odd one to have, that of collecting newspaper clippings on toilets, but the same has bagged him a mention in this year’s Limca Book of Records (LMR), for collecting these pieces for over 20 years. Now, Bhateja, who is a septic tank contractor, wishes to help the state government in spreading awareness on sanitation and hygiene.
“The first time I collected a clipping was in Satara, Maharashtra, where a man had died inside a toilet. The story was very intriguing and I decided to keep the clipping. This happened in the late 1980s and ever since I have collected thousands of such pieces, mostly from Hindi newspapers,” said a visibly excited Bhateja.
Some of these stories include that of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who had proposed to his wife, Cherie Booth in a toilet in 1976; Indian-origin American astronaut Sunita Williams talking about using toilets in space and the famed gold-plated bathroom of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and PhD researches on toilets.