Akshay Kumar’s film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha has inspired many village women to stand up against open defecation.  One such case is of a newly-wed woman in a village of Bhind district in Madhya Pradesh who decided not to go to her in-laws house. Reason? There was no toilet there. Jyoti stayed with her husband and in-laws for only three days. Post that, she has been living with her parents for five months.

According to her, she is ready to divorce her husband but is not willing to defecate in the open.

Key Takeaways:

  • A newly-wed woman in a village of Bhind district in MP refused to go to her in-laws’ house as there was no toilet there.
  • She has been living at her parent’s place for five months now. All her husband’s efforts to call her back are in vain.
  • She is ready to divorce her husband but is not willing to defecate in the open. 

She lives with her parents in Phoop which is a small village. About 35 km away is Mehgaon tehsil town where her husband lives with his parents. The husband is unemployed while her father-in-law is employed as a labourer. While she has a toilet at her house in Phoop, she couldn’t stomach the fact that there is no toilet at her in-law’s place.

“I cannot walk down to railway tracks for open defecation.” Jyoti said firmly.

“Either I go out for defecation early in the morning or night under the cover of darkness. I am scared,” Jyoti said.

Her mother has been trying to convince her to go to Mehgaon and live with her husband and in-laws. All her efforts, however, are in vain as she is adamant to not go there. Her spouse often comes and asks her to accompany but she doesn’t give in.

Her husband Vivek Pankaj said that his father would go out and work to get money for the toilet. The administration is planning to make her the brand ambassador for ‘Swachh Abhiyan.’ District magistrate (DM) collector Chotay Singh said that he would be meeting the couple. If they were eligible for the government help for the construction of the toilet, they would get it.

One such similar case is from Kottaimedu, Coimbatore. In January this year, as many as 50 brides in this village took the brave step of leaving their grooms due to dearth of proper toilets in their in-laws’ homes. Married off to grooms in a small village called Vincent Road in Kottaimedu, the women said ‘NO’ to open defecation and decided to return to their parents’ homes.

It is heartening to see more and more women on a mission to get toilets constructed. Besides ordinary women, celebrities are also coming forward to support this cause.

The brides were given false information about the toilets in the village. They then decided to take this step.

Celebrities supporting the issue

It is heartening to see more and more women on a mission to get toilets constructed. Besides ordinary women, celebrities are also coming forward to support this cause.  For instance, the Toilet Ek Prem Katha actor Bhumi Pednekar recently 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.

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