Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making India defecation-free by 2020, a Indo-Tibetan Border Police soldier has decided to donate Rs 57,000 to construct toilets and make his village open-defecation free. Vikas Thakur from Sirmor, Himachal Pradesh joined the 23rd battalion of the ITBP 1994.
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During a village meeting, when the panchayat chief ordered the villagers to construct toilets by December, bewildered villagers said they had no money to do so. Thakur who was present and sensing their predicament, said, “I decided to contribute Rs. 57, 000, so that the village becomes defecation free.”
Thakur said he felt proud when Prime Minister Modi praised him and his village in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme. “I felt proud when the Prime Minister talked about my village, my family, I will never forget this,” he said. His act garnered praise from his colleagues and personnel from other paramilitary forces which then inspired them to contribute to their villages.
“After I donated, around six to seven people followed me. One of them is from my own village, named Shyam Sigh Pundhir, he deposited Rs.30, 000 and another one of my frienda who works as journalist deposited Rs. 30,000 in her village. Like this, others also implemented the idea,” Thakur said. The Himachal Pradesh government has conferred a sanitation award on Thakur and his village.