Want to know how women are proving to be a gamechanger for the Clean India Mission? A group of women living in bucolic areas of Barpeta district in Assam are creating ripples of change by encouraging families with the means to fund the construction of their own toilets.

Arpana Adhikari, who belongs to the region, is the woman leading the mission.

“When Swachh Bharat Mission was rolled out in 2014, we realized that the men were not enthusiastic about the work. I decided to rope in women workers as masons. They were given proper training and they embarked on this mission,” she told TOI.

Also: Delhi Gets Its First Women-Friendly Toilet & It’s ‘Pink’

The women have been able to accomplish some ground breaking work in this direction. Since January, the women have built 480 pucca toilets in Bhulukabari and Balarvitha villages.

In Bhulukabari, the women managed to convince 218 households to build the toilets with their own money. This saved the state from spending Rs 26,16,000.

In Balarvitha, the women convinced 153 households to pay for their own toilets, saving Rs 18,36,000.

Read: Toilet Stories Of Women In India: Horrified by Making Choices in a Chawl

A lot of people have praised them for their efforts. “They are much better than their male counterparts. They know intricate details about masonry,” Adhikari said.

One woman army

In another such instance, a daily wage worker in Belagavi in Karnataka has gone the extra mile and built toilet within her house. The woman, Fakiravva Yamanappa Ingalagi, renovated her house to make room for building a toilet. Belagavi Zilla Panchayat’s chief executive officer, R Ramachandran, visited her house to praise her for taking this bold step and becoming an inspiration for women around.

It is good to see women taking up the onus of building toilets and spreading the message of cleanliness.


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