A young woman who sparked a “sanitation revolution” in her village by forcing her husband to build a toilet in their home has been presented with a cheque for 500,000 Rupees (US$ 10,000).
Anita Narre of Chichouli village of Betul district in Madhya Pradesh received the award from Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh, on behalf of Sulabh International.
Two days after her marriage to Shivram in May 2011, Ms Narre left her in-laws’ house. She returned eight days later after her husband, a casual labourer, built a toilet with his savings and neighbours’ help.
Anita Narre’s insistence to have a household toilet drew the attention of Sulabh International. The NGO adopted her in-law’s village Ratanpur for its “Total Cleanliness Drive”. As a result 100 out of the 157 houses in Ratanpur now have a toilet.
Sulabh International chairman Bindeshwar Pathak who presided over the award ceremony function also took Ms Narre to meet Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil.
According to India’s 2011 Census, nearly half of India’s 1.2 billion people have no toilet at home. In rural areas 69.3 per cent of households lack a toilet.
Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has successfully lobbied for an increase in the allocation for rural sanitation and drinking water from 110 billion Rupees (US$ 2.1 billion) in the current fiscal year to 140 billion Rupees (US$ 2.7 billion) in 2012-2013. He had been assured by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee that an additional 10 billion Rupees (US$ 195 million) will be provided in November this year. Ramesh has called for the eradication of open defecation by 2022.
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