The Indian government is working towards making the country open defecation free by October 2, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing toilets across the country. And a woman from Chhattisgarh’s Jashpur district has taken it upon herself to make this a reality in her village.
Kajal Roy has mortgaged her jewellery to make bricks and construct more than 100 toilets in Sanna village.
She is doing this along with other women, and wants to educate people about the importance of using toilets.
“I have started with my ward. Initially I started with 50 toilets and completed it on time. We have gone to each and every household to make people aware of using toilets and their importance. When there was problem with the funds I had to keep my jewellery on mortgage to meet with the demands. Though I don’t have any regrets about it,” Kajal, who is a ward member, told ANI.
She added that she did face many challenges when she started out.
According to the government, around 450 million people, which is half the world’s population defecating in the open, are in India. The government’s mission has become a national movement with many citizens coming out in full support.
“About 450 million people practice open defecation in India, this is half of the world’s population which are defecating in open. We have long way to go and behavioural change is the way forward. With progress of the mission (Swachh Bharat Mission) so far, I am optimistic that the country will become open defecation free,” Centre’s drinking water and sanitation secretary Parameswaran Iyer told PTI.
Kajal, who has led by example, will be felicitated for her work and will be extended all kind of support, said district official Priyanka Shukla. Also, women sarpanch, who have contributed to the government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, will be felicitated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the agency said, quoting sources.