While most teenagers these days have their sights set on the latest cellphone models, a brother-sister duo in Madhya Pradesh’s Narsinghpur district has donated their scholarships to a society and a school for construction of toilet.
This is not the first time that Memoona Khan and Aamir Khan have been helping other children, as earlier, they had helped a school in their locality get an electricity connection.
“The girls told me that in their school they have only one toilet. So, I constructed a toilet for them with my scholarship and pocket money. In this, my brother also supported me. I gave my scholarship and pocket money to the principal through the district education officer,” Memoona said.
She added it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ that had motivated them to construct a toilet in the school.
This deed of the siblings has become something of a saving grace for students of the Maharani Laxmibai School, which earlier had to make do with just one toilet.
Less than a third of India’s 1.2 billion population has access to sanitation and more than 186,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation, according to the charity WaterAid.
The United Nations said in May that half of India’s people defecate in the open–putting people at risk of cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid.
Last month, Prime Minister Modi in his Mann ki Baat lauded Mallamma Sannaningamma Bagalapur, a class 10th student, who staged a protest for a toilet in her home in Karnataka’s Koppal district.
“In Karnataka’s Koppal district, a 16-year-old resorted to hunger strike for a toilet in her house. As the family was facing financial constraints, gram panchayat president Mohammed Shafi extended the incentive and got the toilet constructed. See how the girl and Mr. Shafi have found a solution to the problem,” the Prime Minister said.