According to UNICEF, around 595 million people in India, which is almost half of it’s population, practice open defecation. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, started in October 2014, aims to change all that. Several celebrities (Vidya Balan is one such) as well as the general public have been campaigning for the construction of toilets in the rural areas of India. Now, it seems that Rajasthan has caught up on the activity as well.
Kanti Lal Rot, a daily wager from Dungarpur district who lives with his mother, wife and children, was inspired by the movement.
Hearing about the campaign from local activists, he set out to build a toilet for his home, and even went to the lengths of selling his cattle and mortgaging his wife’s jewellery to complete the construction work!
Kanti was also told by the activists that he would receive an award of Rs. 4,000 each from the centre, state and the municipality, giving him all the more incentive to construct a toilet.
After receiving the first installment, Kanti, along with a few local labourers started digging and made a basic structure. But midway into the construction, he faced a challenge. The first tranche had been used already, and work was in danger of being stopped. But rather than giving up, he sold his goat for Rs. 5000, and mortgaged his wife’s silver jewellery to complete the construction!
On coming to know that he had funded the toilet on his own, officials felicitated him and gave him another Rs. 4000 to pay off his mortgage.
It’s stories like these that give hope for a cleaner and healthier India!