The Toilet Ek Prem Katha actor Bhumi Pednekar has literally aided the construction of three new toilets in the Abhyudaya Ashram (an educational institution for tribal children) in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh. Along with the toilets, she also helped in the establishment of nine refurbished hostel rooms of a school-cum-hostel for tribal girls which recently became functional. She gave two lakh rupees to the tribal school for the repair and construction work.

“The makeover of the nine rooms which urgently needed repair work and construction of three toilets has been funded by Bhumi, who had sent us around Rs 2 lakh a few months back. The construction of toilets and makeover of the nine rooms was completed in June-July. She (Bhumi) wants to come soon to the Ashram, let’s see when she comes here again,” Abhyudaya Ashram head Aruna Chhari told The New Indian Express on Sunday.

The school was founded in 1992 by Ram Snehi and has been working with the support of an initiative of Madhya Pradesh Women and Child Development department. It focuses on educating and skilling girls of the Bedia tribe to seek employment opportunities. The tribe has been notorious for ages for forcing its girls into sex work.

Pednekar’s film Toilet Ek Prem Katha released in 2017 and it created a furore in the society and focused its attention towards the lack of toilets in the rural belts of the country. It also showed how women have to face harrowing experiences as they go for open defecation outside their homes in villages. However, she came across the tribal school a year later while shooting for her recently released film, Sonchiriya. Interestingly, the lead role in the film is played by a young tribal girl studying in Abhyudaya Ashram named Khushiya. The film showing the dacoit culture around Chambal valley in MP was shot in parts of MP, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

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“Right since the shooting of Sonchiriya, she (Bhumi) has been associated with the Ashram and its children. She talks to me and my son as well as the children at the Ashram regularly and it was this association only, which saw her fund the makeover of nine rooms and construction of three new toilets,” said Aruna Chhari, the foster daughter of Ashram founder Ram Snehi.

“The makeover of the nine rooms which urgently needed repair work and construction of three toilets has been funded by Bhumi, who had sent us around Rs 2 lakh a few months back. The construction of toilets and makeover of the nine rooms was completed in June-July. She (Bhumi) wants to come soon to the Ashram, let’s see when she comes here again”

Bhumi posted a photo of the young children, the toilets and a photo of a girl using the toilet on Instagram and her post read, “2 Years of ToiletEkPremKatha: TEPK made me more humble, socially aware and put me on the path to make the world a better place by spreading awareness on sanitation. We constantly are trying to provide better facilities to the children of Abhyudaya Ashram Morena Chambal. And on the 2nd anniversary of TEPK am proud to say that the new hostels and toilets are fully functional today. There is nothing more gratifying than the love you can spread. These children give me strength, want to thank all my fans and supporters for constantly showering me with such love. You mean the world to me.”

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