- Two brothers in Uttar Pradesh gift toilets to their sisters on Bhai Dooj
- Both the brothers are from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh
- The district is yet to go ODF with sanitation coverage of above 86 per cent
Raksha Bandhan, Karva Chauth and now Bhai Dooj, tapping festivals to gift toilets seems to be yet another way being adopted, to drive home the swachh agenda. Latest being the example of two brothers from Baghpat in northern Uttar Pradesh, who were troubled by the lack of basic sanitation facilities at the in-laws of their sisters. Hailing from Barawad village in Baraut Tehsil, Vinod is a farmer by profession who was looking forward to get something unique for his sister Riya on the occasion of Bhai Dooj. His sister, who has been married for the past three years in the nearby village of Biral, would often complain about the lack of a proper toilet at her in laws. Aware of her plight, Binod was determined to gift his sister a toilet this year and so convinced her in-laws to build one at their premises. Within a week, the construction was completed and on the occasion of Bhai Dooj on October 21. Once ready, Binod asked Rekha to inaugurate the fully functional toilet.
The decision by Binod to choose to gift a toilet to his sister on such a festive occasion is very inspiring. Instead of any other gift, he gave her what will serve a bigger purpose for longer time to come. We will talk about this in our coming Swachhta campaigns and uphold this example for others to follow, said Bhawani Singh Khangarot, District Collector, Baghpat.
Uttar Pradesh’s performance in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has not been satisfactory till now. With sanitation coverage not available to half of the residents of the state, despite three years into the Abhiyan. So far, Uttar Pradesh has managed to make only seven districts open defecation free (ODF). Baghpat, though not ODF, is relatively one of the better off districts in the state, with an individual household latrine (IHHL) coverage of 86.49 per cent. Still, the absence of toilets in certain households remains a matter of concern for the district administration. The gesture by Binod could set an example for people across the district.
Though most of the households in the district have toilets, the ones which don’t can take this instance as an example. Brothers can gift their sisters toilets even if there is no festive occasion as such so that more households can have access to functional toilets, said Mr Khangarot.
In another inspiring incident, in the village of Hasanpur Jiwani in Baghpat, 32-year-old Deepanshi’s in-laws’ house did not have a functional toilet for the two years that she has been married. Relieving herself was restricted to either early in the morning or at night. Little did she know that this Bhai Dooj will bring to her a gift that would relieve her of her daily plight. Her brother, Vinod Kumar Dubey chose the occasion of Bhai Dooj to gift her a toilet. Vinod, who works as a daily construction labourer completed the construction of the toilet within the night for Deepanshi to wake up and find that a toilet was ready for her to inaugurate and use.
I knew that if I got permission from my sister’s in-laws, I can complete the construction within a few hours. My sister and the other women from her household can now use the toilet whenever they feel like, said Vinod Dubey.
Both the brothers will be used as examples in our sanitation campaigns. We plan to become open defecation free by the end of the year and such examples will ensure that people can come forward to help their family members by gifting them toilets and ensuring a better and healthy, longer life, said Mr Khangarot.
In the recently concluded Swachhata Hi Seva campaign, Uttar Pradesh has emerged as the highest builder of toilets, building 3.52 lakh toilets in 17 days. The state has set October 2018 as a date to go completely open defecation free (ODF) and as per Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s recent statement, 15,000 toilets are being built daily in the state to achieve the 2018 deadline.