A 16-year-old girl, whose father refused to build a toilet for her and her mother, received a surprise gift from panchayat officials who built her a toilet in one day.
Sunitha, of Kukkodu village near Mudigere in Karnataka, had been trying to convince her father to have a toilet constructed at home. But her father, an alcoholic who would drink his earnings away, was hostile to the idea.
Frustrated by the situation, Sunitha spoke with a visiting team of panchayat officials, led by Taluk Panchayat executive officer M.N. Gurudath. They tried to convince Sunitha’s father Sheshe Gowda to use funding from the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to build a toilet. But Gowda refused, leaving his daughter in tears.
“We were moved by what we saw. We decided to do it ourselves. We collected tools from the neighbourhood and started digging work and summoned the material needed. The girl left for her morning class. When she returned, the toilet was nearly ready,” Mr. Gurudath told The Hindu.
“Using a couple of masons, we laid the foundation and completed the walls. I will never forget the joy in her eyes when she saw it,” added Gurudath. He and the other officers have pooled in their personal funds to cover the Rs. 22,000 cost of building the toilet, leaving the Rs. 12,000 subsidy granted under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for Sunitha’s education.