Family Transforms Toilet Build Under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan into Kitchen
Open defecation in India is no news. Although Swachh Bharat Abhiyan strives to provide each household with a toilet so that the country could become open-defecation free, the problem is far from gone. And yet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proudly announced the achievement of this goal on October 2, 2019.
In the recent series of events, a case of open defecation has come into light in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh. A family is using their toilet (built under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan) as a kitchen due to the lack of proper accommodation. Their house looks like it is straight out of a post-colonial novel with mud walls and a thatched roof that needs to be mended every few months.
Barabanki: A toilet constructed under Swachh Bharat mission is being used as a kitchen by a family in Akan Pur village. Ram Prakash,member of the family says,”we don’t have proper accommodation so we are using this toilet as a kitchen since one year.” pic.twitter.com/1AwsfazhTm
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The family had trouble cooking food during the rainy season as the water would seep through the roof into the house that had a ‘chulah’. With no other alternative in sight, Ram Prakash and his family started using their toilet that was built a year ago as a kitchen. The family continues to defecate in the open for obvious reasons.
District Magistrate Barabanki, Adarsh Singh said,
We have not received any such request for the house. We will investigate the matter and try to provide proper accommodation. Our aim is that if a woman does not have accommodation then we will try to provide the same immediately.
The DM further added that if there was any negligence on the part of the gram panchayat and village head, then action would be taken.
However, a social activist revealed that there are numerous cases in Barabanki district where families are either cooking in open space due to the lack of proper housing under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna and do not have toilets.
The people in the area keep defecating in the open as the authorities have not built the toilets. Many walls have been built in the name of toilets but the toilet seats have not been installed.
The aim of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is far-fetched, as there is clearly a lack of knowledge, responsibility and communication among the people and authorities.
A few years ago, people were found worshipping the newly constructed toilets instead of using them. Elimination of open-defecation is not possible until the poverty-struck Indians have required basic needs fulfilled.
Lack of basic accommodations such as a house and toilet questions the idea of a clean and green country. The government must look into such matters and provide proper housing to the needy.
Via: India Times