Today happens to be the World Toilet Day, an occasion when countries across the world take stock of their sanitation and hygiene levels. India invariably comes into the spotlight on this day for various reasons. Of late, there has been a host of initiatives by the Indian government in this direction of improving sanitation standards in the country.
The "Swachh Bharat Shauchalay Nirmaan" has been a commendable step in this regard. More so because in a country as huge as India, more people have mobile phones than toilets. Besides the government, there are a few NGOs, start-ups, and a few spirited individuals as well who are spearheading the task of improving hygiene and sanitary standards in India. Through this post, we bring to you tale of all such people & their initiatives. Take a look:
Kunwar Bai from Kotabharri in Dhamtari, Chhattisgarh, used to travel far away from her place to relieve herself, for more than a century. For almost 100 years of her life, she didn't even see a toilet. But today at the age of 105, Kunwar Bai is the eldest woman in India who made endless efforts for making her village open defecation free.
You will be proud to know that earlier this year, Kunwar Bai was honored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for her initiatives. She was also chosen as Swacch Bharat Abhiyan Mascot by Modi Ji.
"All my life I defecated in open – went to a jungle to relieve myself, it's only from last one and half years I have got what I waited for so long – a toilet. I don't want anyone to face the same consequences what I underwent all my life," shared Kunwar Bai.
12- year-old Monidrita Chatterjee is surely an inspiration to one and all. This is school going girl from Jamshedpur has been making efforts to fulfill her dream of making India get rid of the practice of open defecation. She embarked on her journey of making Jamshedpur 'Swacch,' last year.
In 2016, Monidrita saved around Rs. 24,000 and successfully built two toilets for the children of Kendradhi village. She then went on to built two toilets in Haldubani village. This isn't it, she then came up with an extremely innovative idea of building toilets with waste products like plastic bottles and fly ash. After saving around 3,000 plastic bottles, Monidrita recently succeeded in building two plastic toilets in Garur Basa village.
Hats off to Sushila Khurkute, a seven months pregnant woman from Nandgaon village in Maharashtra's Palghar district. Despite carrying a baby bump, she kept digging the rocky ground outside her house to build a toilet on her own.
"If I Can Bring In This Change For Myself, Then Even You Can," firmly believes Sushila who has been working in the direction of making her village free from open defecation.
Around 30 women from Ganjam district, Orissa came in together to bring the system of open defecation to an end. Popularly known as 'Whistle Bahinis' this group of 30 women made use of whistles to make people aware of the importance of building toilets and ill- effects of defecating in the open. They regularly carry out patrolling from 4 to 6 in the morning, so that they can stop people from relieving themselves in the open.
To eliminate the practice of open defecation in his village, this 8-year old boy from Kumhari village in Madhya Pradesh's Balaghat district, used sign language and whistles as his weapons. Despite being specially-abled (deaf and dumb) Tushar showed the guts of bringing in a positive change in his village and helped his village attain the open defecation free status.
Sana, a village in Chattisgarh is blessed to have a woman Sarpanch like Kajal Roy who mortgaged her jewelry worth Rs. 87,000 and constructed more than 100 toilets in her village Sana.
Sana has been declared Open Defecation Free in March this year.
Around 6,000 engineering students became a part of Swacch Bharat Mission. These students from Gujarat Technological University (GTU) came in together to build toilets across villages in Gujarat. To provide villagers with this fundamental right, these students constructed 9000 toilets in 107 villages in Gujarat.
A young boy from Uttar Pradesh's Gonda district gifted a toilet to his sister so that she can avoid defecating in the open.
So friends, aren't these stories inspiring? Do post your comments in the section below or send in your thoughts here: email@example.com