The Panchkula district administration’s ‘embarrassment rallies’ against open defecation have led to a villager in Morni area selling off his buffalo to build a toilet.
Pressing villagers to construct toilets, these rallies are held every morning, and this led Subhash, 25, a truck driver from Doodhgarh village in Morni block, sell the milch animal off for Rs 35,000. He had bought it for Rs 40,000 only about six weeks ago, but said he direly felt the need for a toilet for his family. His family includes his wife and a three-month-old child besides his mother and uncle. For the toilet, he would later get Rs 12,000 from the administration, though for now the project would cost nearly Rs 30,000.
“I thought when a toilet has to be constructed one day, let it happen now,” he said, also acknowledging the effect of the rallies: “Though I used to remain away due to the nature of my job, my family told me that officials have been visiting and urging for construction of toilets. They used to make me aware of the movement. I did not have money so I sold the buffalo.”
On Wednesday, he got the required trench dug. “I have bought the bricks and cement that cost about Rs 10,000. From tomorrow, the work would commence.”
Subhash earns around Rs 10,000 a month, but said that “sometimes I get work, sometimes I do not”.
Deputy commissioner (DC) Mandip Singh Brar praised Subhash for taking a decision “for women’s honour and the health of his family and fellow villagers”. “He has set an example. He felt that there was a larger need of a toilet than a buffalo,” said Brar.
Brar claimed, “Our campaign has been quite effective. There is such demand of toilets in rural areas that there is a shortage of masons.”
The aim is to make rural Panchkula open-defecation-free by April 15. The administration has trained people including elected panchayat representatives, teachers and volunteers, on embarrassing techniques. For instance, whistles are blown when someone is seen defecating in the open.