No one supported Anita’s idea of constructing a toilet in the house. But this 21-year-old did not give up and started making one, all by herself. She used her scholarship fees to construct the toilet and made sure that she would never have to go to the nearby forest for defecation any more.
Anita, a resident of Guradiya Varma village in Sehore district of Madhya Pradesh, used to defecate in open. After all, this is what everyone else in her family had always been doing.
But after becoming aware about the ill-effects of open defecation, when an NGO launched the Swachh Bharat Mission in her village this May, the BSc student decided to change this unhygienic practice.
She asked her father to construct a toilet in their house. But because of acute poverty and limited source of income, her father Ramlal, could not agree to the idea.
Photo for representation only. Source: sanitation.indiawaterportal.org
Ramlal, who has two acres of land and two buffaloes, also works as a daily wage earner to provide for the basic necessities of his family. And spending extra money on a toilet was a far cry in such conditions. Even Anita’s mother believed that there was nothing wrong in defecating in the nearby forest like everyone else.
But this 21-year-old girl was not ready to give up so easily. When no one listened to her, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
She followed the advice of the NGO to make a simple twin-pit toilet, and began digging a pit in their backyard.
Soon after beginning, she found out that an amount of Rs. 4,999 had been credited into her account by the SC welfare department, as scholarship money for her fees. This came in as a great support to this dedicated girl who then decided to use Rs. 3,000 out of the total amount to construct the toilet since her fees had already been paid by her father.
Thanks to her strong will, Anita now has a toilet in her house and she does not have to suffer the embarrassment of defecating in open every day.
Impressed by her work, 70 more toilets have been constructed in her village for about 600 families.