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How it could be claimed that villagers in remote inaccessible topographies are still living with medieval concepts? New generation now enough conscious for change the old practices!
A newly married girl virtually spread sensation in the entire village soon stepping in in-laws house. Her protest against non-availability of a toilet and subsequently refused to adopt the practice of open defecation has not only exposed this rotten system but also was eye opener for many.
The incident happened at one of most inaccessible Ward No 1 of Dholbazza, an isolated sleepy panchayat across river Kosi under Naugachia sub-division in Bhagalpur. Kanchan Kumari, a matriculate girl from neighbouring Purnea district recently married with Rudal, son of one Yogendra Mistry in the village.
In her first morning in the village Kanchan was surprised to find her in laws and others going open defecation. When she was told that the house of her in laws does not have any toilet, she brushed into tears. She immediately packed up her belongings and came out from her in laws house. She decided to return to her parents because it is quite impossible for her to compromise like others in this condition-life without toilet.
However with the interference of village Panchayat and Swachhta Karmi ( village hygiene persons) who somehow managed Kanchan to brought back her from midway, she returned finally with an assurance that construction works of toilet in the house would be started within next two days.
“She virtually lost her control after listing open defecation and immediate decided not to stay at the house and went out of the house, we all tried to convince her but she clearly told that at any cost she could not compromise with such situation,” said a family member.
The news that spread like wild fire in the village was a lesson for the residents there. They however decided not to let her return and bring her back. Vikash Kumar Rajak, Swachhata Karmi, immediately informed the incident to Rajiv Ranjan, block development officer (BDO), Naugachia block.
Taking the gravity of the incident ,Rajiv Ranjan asked Panchayat ward member, Sanjay Rajak and Munna to intervene into the matter. Sanjay and others somehow managed to bring back Kanchan from the outskirt of the village when she is ready to catch the bus for her parents resident.
“We somehow intercepted her with assurance of construction of toilet at her in-laws house within next 2 days. And with our promise, she finally returned back to her in-laws house,” Sanjay said.
Her father in law like others in the village was totally ignored about the government’s scheme in which a beneficiary has to construct toilet first at his/her house and then received the amount of Rs 12000 from concern block office at his/her bank account directly. “I didn’t have any such idea and was waiting for the money,” Yogendra admitted.
Finally he decided to start work for the construction of toilet immediately when the ward members told him about the scheme.
Binod Kumar, district coordinator of Swachhata mission, in Naugachia said almost 60 percent construction of toilet in every house has been covered up. He said that appointment of Suraksha Karmi, numbering 4 for each Panchayat has been done. “they have been assigned to convince villagers to construct toilets in their houses and also change the habit of open defecation. Kumar however claimed that by October 2018 remaining 40 percent construction of toilets would be completed to make Naugacha completely free from open defecation.
“The young generation could change the fate of our society like Kanchan,” said Lallan Kumar, a social activist at Naugachia.