November 9th, 2016
In a stern resolve, a 28-year-old woman, Sapna Tomar, of Bhind district in Madhya Pradesh has taken a vow that she will not wear any footwear till all the houses in her village have toilets.
Sapna, a mother of two, had to compromise since the day of her wedding as she was always in shame that she had to defecate in the open. This was because her husband Udai Pratap Singh of Gundavali village did not have a toilet at his house.
But now, a tragic incident has totally changed Sapna’s perspective and she has resolved to bring an end to the practice of open defecation. One of her friends at Nunhera village of Rajasthan’s Dholpur district was gang raped by two youths of the village a year ago when she went to relieve herself outside. She did not share her ordeal with anyone but committed suicide by consuming phenyl.
Sapna believes that her friend would have been alive if there was a toilet in the house. She now goes barefoot from door to door in her village motivating the residents to build toilets in their houses. There are 315 Ahirwar families in the village and 138 of them have constructed toilets, largely because of Sapna’s initiative.
She has also recently been made the motivator of the sanitation campaign by Bhind district Panchayat’s Chief Executive Officer Pravin Singh. He also appealed to the villagers to cooperate with Sapna and vow to end open defecation in Bhind.
The Logical Indian salutes Sapna’s resolution to bring about a positive change in her village. More awareness should be created to inform people of the health, hygiene, and safety issues so that the practice of open defecation can come to an end. And both the government and people should come together to change the system.