The government is trying hard to push people to use toilets in rural India. As a part of the Swachh Bharat Campaign, the Union Ministry of Urban Development has even launched three videos to promote the use of toilets using humour and mockery. The ads can regularly be heard on radio stations as well because people in many parts of rural India still prefer to defecate in the open even if they have toilets in the house.
Inspired by the campaign, Lata Devi Diwakar from Kanpur sold her mangalsutra, the sacred thread given by husband on the wedding day, to build a toilet in her house. The family used to face a lot of problems without a toilet due to which they decided to construct one in the house. “We used to face a lot of problems; finally decided to build the toilet after PM Narendra Modi’s campaign inspired me,” she told ANI.
However, she didn’t receive any monetary help from the government for the toilet though under the Swachh Bharat Scheme, every household can avail Rs4,000 for building a toilet in their house, an initiative taken by the Modi government to make India open-defecation free by 2019.
Diwakar sold her piece of jewellery because she thought toilet was more important. “Toilet is a basic necessity, compared to jewellery and so I sold them. Didn’t get any help from the government,” she was quoted as saying.