‘Saas-Bahu’ in 21st Century India: Andhra Woman Builds Toilet as Wedding Gift for Son’s Bride

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A woman from Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh has set an example for her community by gifting a toilet to her son’s bride on the occasion of their marriage.

Sk. Shamsun and her family members had to go into open areas to answer nature’s call in Bollavaram village of Muppalla Mandal in Guntur district. But, inspired by the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission, Shamsun decided she was not going to let her daughter-in-law suffer the same indignities she had experienced when she got married.

When her son Sk. Shahjahan married Salma, a brand new toilet awaited the bride when she came to her husband’s house.


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“I never had access to a toilet in my father’s home, nor in my in-laws’ home,” Shamsun told Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin. “I cannot even talk about the monsoon months and the hardships that the season represented for us women – to answer nature’s call.”

Shamsun also said she felt extremely humiliated when people visited her home but stayed only a short while because there was no toilet. She recollected a painful incident when a relative from Dubai refused to stay at her home for the same reason.

Shamsun finally got the toilet she wanted about eight months ago with the help of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

“”I gathered all the information I could about the construction and disbursement of incentive amount through instalments,” she said. Next, she pooled in Rs. 4000 of her own money with the government incentive to finance the construction of the toilet.

Salma, the daughter-in-law, is pregnant now and Shamsun is extremely happy with her decision to have built the toilet. “I do not want to put her health at risk,” she said. The entire family uses the facility now.

Shamsun plans to ask Salma’s family to build a toilet for their daughter to use when she goes home.

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