New Delhi: ‘I don’t want my children to suffer the same fate as I did – I want them to use a toilet at home and be safe,’ with this as her motive, 87-year-old Rakkhi from Jammu and Kashmir’s Badali village in Udhampur, single-handedly is constructing a toilet near her house in order to fight open defecation. Rakkhi, who herself has been going to the fields to defecate for years, decided to take this big step as she was deeply inspired by the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign and wanted to make sure she does her bit towards the clean India 2019 goal.
Speaking to ANI, Rakkhi said that she did not know about the ill-effects of defecating in the open until she attended one of the awareness campaigns in her village. She said,
I want everyone to use a toilet as defecating in open gives birth to many kinds of diseases.
As Rakkhi did not have any money to hire labourers to construct a toilet, so she, started doing the masonry work all by herself. Explaining the work done by her, she added,
My son made the mud for my toilet after which I leveled the bricks and did the masonry work myself. Within 7 days my toilet work will be completed.
Deputy Commissioner of Udhampur praised her work and said, “It is time for people to change their traditional mindset. I was shocked to know that an 87-year-old woman is building a toilet herself without any help. I salute the spirit of the woman and everyone should learn a lesson from her.”
He further added that every possible help will be provided to the woman.
Inspired by the spirit of the 87-year-old, other villagers to have joined Rakkhi and have pledged to make their village free from open defecation on priority.
If at this age, this woman has not given up, then how can we youngsters give up.. We will make sure, we will not go out in the open and will get ourselves a toilet at home. Soon, we will also make a rule in our village that no individual will be allowed to go out to defecate, signs off the bunch of young women from the village.
So far, Jammu and Kashmir has achieved a target of 71.95 per cent sanitation coverage. Districts OF Leh, Kargil, Shopian, and Srinagar have been declared open defecation free and the target to declare the whole state ODF has been set for December 2018. The government is also confident that the state will achieve the target successfully.