May 2018 News

Inspiring! 87-year-old Jammu & Kashmir Woman Promotes 'Swachh Bharat Mission', Builds Toilet With Her Hands

4 May 2018
Financial Express

New Delhi: An 87-year-old woman from Jammu and Kashmir is fast turning into a role model for the entire country with her effort to make her village open-defecation free. Rakkhi, who is from Badali village in Jammu and Kashmir, is single-handedly constructing a toilet near her house. Rakkhi took the lead and decided to construct her own toilet after the District Administration Team of the village launched many awareness camps about the 'Swachh Bharat Mission'. After getting educated about the ill-effects of defecating in the open, Rakkhi took the initiative of building the toilet on her own. As per an ANI report, Rakkhi is doing the masonry work herself as she does not have money to hire labours. Rakkhi disclosed that from a decade she had been defecating in open without knowing its ill effects. She wants everyone to use the toilet as defecating in open gives birth to many kinds of diseases. I am poor and don't have money to build a toilet, hence decided to build the toilet with my own hands without any constructed tool or help. My son made the mud for my toilet after which I levelled the bricks and did the masonry work myself. Within 7 days my toilet will be completed,' she added. Deputy Commissioner Udhampur praised her work saying, 'It is time for people to change their traditional mindset. I was shocked to know that an 87-year-old woman built the toilet herself without any help. I salute the spirit of the woman and everyone should learn a lesson from her.' The Deputy Commissioner also said that every possible help will be provided to the aged woman. In April, salaries of around 600 government employees in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir were stopped for not constructing toilets at their houses in order to send out a strong message against open defecation. Jammu and Kashmir has achieved a target of 71.95 per cent with respect to the construction of Individual Household Latrines (IHHLs), verification and geo-tagging of units under the Swachh Bharat Mission. Kishtwar has registered 57.23 per cent success in this regard. Leh and Kargil districts in Ladakh, Shopian in south Kashmir and Srinagar have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).