Award for woman who brought toilet revolution to a backward MP village
When Anita Narre stormed out of her husband's home two days after their marriage in May 2011, it was an act of defiance unparalleled mainly because the reason was unheard of.
Anita's only grouse was that her in-laws' house in Ratanpur village of Betul district did not have a toilet, and she refused to come back till one was in place.
The village panchayat asked her husband Shivram to build one and gave him an assistance of Rs 2,200. Another Rs 3,400 came from a sub-scheme under the MNREGA and the bride returned within eight days, but not before sparking a near revolution in one of the backward districts of Madhya Pradesh.
In the nine months since that unusual revolt, the village of 326 families has got 80-odd toilets with 100 more applications moved mainly at the inspiration of women who shared Anita's plight.
Two days ago, Sulabh International announced a cash award of Rs five lakh to Anita acknowledging that her tough act had created awareness about sanitation and hygiene.
Betul Collector Chandrashekhar Borkar said on Sunday that she would be the district's brand ambassador for total sanitation campaign. "She has set an example," he said.
The second-year B A student said that she would use the award money to construct a bathroom and to fortify her house.
Shivram, a labourer, said his wife would take a call on how the money would be utilised.
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