New Delhi: 12-year old Monidrita Chatterjee’s dream is to make India free from the age-old practice of open defecation and make the country free from all its waste woes. From building toilets by saving every penny she could to constructing toilets with waste products like plastic bottles and fly ash in a bid to tackle India’s growing waste woes, this little crusader has done it all in order to fulfill her dream of Swachh India. She started her swachh battle in Jamshedpur last year and till now has constructed 6 toilets in the city to give the less privileged people the most basic necessity – a toilet. Impressed by her efforts, Jharkhand government felicitated Monidrita on India’s 70th Independence Day on August 15 with the Swachhta Award. The award was given to the swachh warrior by Food And Supply Minister of Jharkhand, Saryu Roy and the District Commissioner of Jamshedpur, Amit Kumar.
Rewind: Monidrita Chatterjee’s Swachh Journey
Monidrita started a swachh revolution with a simple thought that disturbed her deep inside and that’s the fact about the rural girls in India who leave school and their education simply because they don’t have access to the toilets. And since then there is no looking back. In 2016, this little swachh warrior saved around Rs. 24,000 and built two toilets for the children of Kendradhi village. Then, she built 2 toilets in Haldubani village. Her journey didn’t stop there, Monidrita then thought of building toilets with waste products like plastic bottles and fly ash. She saved around 3,000 plastic bottles in order to build two plastic toilets in Garur Basa village. This project was recently completed by the swachh crusader.
Toilet building aside, Monidrita also goes to the nearby villages every week just to raise awareness about hygiene and why it is important to use a toilet. Mondrita along with her parents plan to save more money to help the less fortunate people.
I have constructed 6 toilets in my city and I have realised one of the most important things – we cannot achieve the target of Swachh India only by constructing toilets, it is important to teach rural people on the basics of using a toilet. They don’t even know how to sit there, using it is very far, says Monidrita.
According to the Government, Jharkhand plans to go ODF by 2018 by building 30 lakh toilets by the end of December 2018. Since the launch of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the state has constructed 1 lakh toilets, in order to meet the target; the state needs more swachh warriors like Mondrita.
Talking about her next projects, Monidrita added, apart from constructing toilets, I now plan to make our country free from waste, I will soon start with my composting project where I will get few locations within the city allocated by the District Commissioner. My agenda is to teach people waste segregation and benefits of composting.
Monidrita signs off by saying,
If 100 people like me come forward and do their bit to change the society, fate of our country can change. On this Independence Day, I pledge to make my country free from Open Defecation and Waste, I urge people to do the same. Together let’s make India free from all these problems.
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