A shopkeeper in a village in Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh, has been forced to construct a toilet at his home after his 10-year-old daughter put her foot down against open defecation.
“I had been objecting to open defecation for two long years and asking my father to have a toilet constructed. But every time he used to make an excuse about paucity of funds. I kept on insisting and finally we have a toilet at home,” Monica said.
“I was surprised by the manner in which she presented her demand. She highlighted how open defecation invites diseases. Monica might have come to know about all this through television or other means and narrated this as reason for having a toilet at home,” said her father Subhash Chand.
A fifth standard student 5 in Nagla Dileep area of Karhal tehsil of Mainpuri district, Monica has an elder brother Rohit who studies in class 11.
Neeraj Sharma, project coordinator for Swachh Bharat Mission, lauded the efforts of Monica who aspires to become an IPS officer. “Apparently, the young girl had heard others talking about Swachh Bharat Mission, especially from her cousin who is panchayat secretary. This motivated her to go against open defecation,” said Sharma.
“The girl has set an example for others in the village. Through our mission since October 2, 2014, we have witnessed that children in families are playing a major role in ‘revolting’ against open defecation and their demands for having toilets at home have helped our efforts towards the cause,” Sharma said.
“Such success stories would help fulfill the dream of making our nation ODF (Open Defecation Free) by the time we reach the target date of October 2, 2019,” he said.