Awareness compels people to challenge the status quo and bring about big changes. For instance, when 75-year-old Rahima Bewa got to know the extent to which open defecation is harmful for our health, she decided to utilise some of her savings to build a toilet in her house.
“Some people told me defecating in the open is harmful for our health. So, I decided to build a toilet in my house. I’m spending some of my savings for it,” said Bewa.
She is a resident of Nowdapara in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district. She has been living here for the last 30 years. Her husband died 20 years ago. Since then, she has been begging to earn a living. The toilet will be costing her around Rs 15,000 but she has resolved to construct it.
Bricks and pipes have been bought and masons have begun work. Once the construction is over, the toilet would be the only brick and mortar structure in Bewa’s mud house that she shares with her 50-year-old daughter Kamala Bewa, who is physically disabled.
“We will try to deliver to her whatever government aid is possible within the next two days,” Rakhi Pal, the block development officer of Berhampore in which the village falls.
It is great to see women like Rahima taking care of their hygiene despite their socio-economic condition. Her endeavour to construct a toilet is commendable.
Last month, as many as 50 brides in a village took the brave step of leaving their grooms due to lack of proper toilets in their in-laws’ homes.
More power to you!