Did the resilient and robust character of Bhoomi Pednekar as Jaya in the Hindi film ‘Toilet’, who filed for a divorce because of the unavailability of a toilet in her marital home, inspire you?
If yes, then here’s another inspiring story of a real-life crusader of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. Meet Anjani Mallah, a resident of Medrapar village in Sant Kabir Nagar.
Anjani stands apart from the character of Jaya in one way. Instead of encouraging women to leave their marital homes due to the absence of toilets, she is empowering them to fight for their rights and enable the construction of one.
Fighting all odds, Anjana has contributed to the construction of over 125 toilets in her marital and maternal villages.
Thanks to her courage, young women and girls in their villages are using toilets, without the fear of having to defecate in the open.
Growing up Anjani wanted to become an athlete. Post her father’s retirement, her family shifted to the village Ranipur of Basti, where she struggled with the fear and embarrassment of open defecation as the village had no toilets.
When Anjani got married and shifted to Medrapar to her marital home, the predicament continued. But this time, Anjani decided to raise her voice.
She mobilised a group of local women and personally started visiting concerned officials to air their grievances and push for construction of toilets.
It was due to their resilience that Saroj Kumar the then district magistrate of Sant Kabirnagar ordered the construction of 75 toilets. The district administration of Medrapar village later extended it to 150 toilets.
But Anjani’s fight did not stop there. She went back to her maternal village and continued to protest against the unavailability of toilets. Soon enough, her voice reached the right ears, and the concerned authorities sanctioned the construction of over 50 toilets.
Her clarity of vision and never-give-up attitude has earned Anjani Mallah the title of the brand ambassador of Sant Kabir Nagar district on October 2, 2017, reported the Times of India.
We salute women like Anjani, who continue to inspire many to fight their battle against open defecation across India!
Feature Image in-set credit: Times of India