A Maharashtra bride who got a “toilet” as her wedding gift from her kin as she preferred it over jewellery will now be given a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh by a sanitation NGO for taking a stand on the issue.
Inspired by ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign, the woman from Akola district insisted on a toilet in her in-laws’ house, placing basic sanitation needs much ahead of other wedding presents.
Lauding the inspiring step by Chaitali Galakhe of Andura village in Balapur tehsil of Akola district, Sulabh International today announced Rs 10 lakh cash award for her.
While making the announcement, noted sanitation expert and mentor of Sulabh International Bindeshwar Pathak termed Chaitali as a great inspirer and messenger of sanitation.
Appreciating the step of the rural woman, Pathak saw it as an impact of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign which motivates common people towards need of sanitation.
He announced to honour her soon with ‘Sulabh Sanitation Award’ carrying a cheque of Rs 10 lakh.
“I see it as an achievement of Modi when his government is completing one year in office,” Dr Pathak said.
Chaitali got married to Devendra Makode from a village in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district.
Those who attended her marriage on May 15 at Andura village in Akola were surprised to see a new item on display, along with other usual household articles which form part of the articles given by parents/ relatives of the bride to her during the wedding.
Standing tall along with other items was a toilet. The pre-fabricated toilet with a water closet, a wash-basin and mirror standing around one foot above the ground, was the cynosure of all eyes at the event.
“Five days after my marriage was fixed, I came to know that there is no toilet at my in-laws’ house,” Chaitali said.
“I told my father and uncle to provide a toilet. They fulfilled my request. I think it is more useful than some of the other items normally given during marriage,” she said.
Her father finally accepted her demand and got a pre-fabricated toilet for her to be installed at in-laws’ place.
In the past few years, Sulabh has awarded six such women who raised voice for toilets in different parts of the country, a release said.
Madhya Pradesh’s Anita Narre was awarded Rs seven lakh when she revolted against her husband over the issue of toilet.
Priyanka Bharti and two other newly-weds from Gorakhpur region in Uttar Pradesh were honoured by Sulabh for their bold stand for giving more preference to toilets and revolting against their in-laws.
Now, all such women are working as Sulabh’s ambassadors to motivate people for toilets.
Another woman Sangita, who sold her “Mangalsutra” (sacred wedding necklace) and built toilet in Maharashtra, is now working as Sulabh campaigner to propagate sanitation awareness.