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Won’t come home if toilets not built, residential schoolgirls write to parents before Sankranti festival in Andhra

The girls wrote to their parents to build toilets at their homes in order to avoid defecating in the open, in line with the government’s Swachch Bharat campaign.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2018 10:10 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Andhra Pradesh,open-defecation free,Sankranti
The Centre and state governments have been spending crores under Swachh Bharat campaign to ensure the whole country becomes open-defecation free.

With crores spent on Swachh Bharat campaign, aimed at making the entire country open-defecation free by October 2, 2019, girl students of a residential school in a remote village of Andhra Pradesh’s Prakasam district have come up with an innovative idea.

Last week, the girl students of Kasturba Gandhi Girls Residential School at Pamuru village wrote letters to their parents in their respective villages declaring that they would not come home for the Sankranti festival on January 14 and 15, unless they construct individual toilets in their houses.

Sankranti is an important festival for the people of Andhra Pradesh, when all the family members compulsorily gather to celebrate it in a big way.

“All these days, we have been used to open defecation. Our teachers have told us that open defecation is an unhealthy practice, which results in communicable diseases. So, it is every important that all of us should have individual toilets at home. The government is providing necessary funds for the construction of toilets,” the students wrote to their parents on the postcards.

“We wish you construct the toilet compulsorily before we come home for Sankranti festival. Otherwise, we will not be coming for the festival vacations,” they said.

A girl student told the local media that open defecation had been the practice in their villages in the district, as none of the houses had individual toilets, adding that it was especially a problem for women and girls.

S Sirisha, special officer of the Sarva Sikhya Abhiyan under which Kasturba Gandhi residential schools function, said the students had come up with this post card campaign idea to educate their parents about the importance of individual toilets.

“We have told them to create awareness among not only their parents but also in the entire village about avoiding open defecation and how the governments were promoting the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in a big way. Every day, we teach them to participate in the campaign for making their villages open defecation free,” she said.

Last week, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu threatened to sit on hunger strike in villages which do not complete the 100% construction of toilets before the March 31 deadline.

First Published: Jan 11, 2018 09:57 IST