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Sakshi Yadav, an eleven year old school girl from Meedhiki village in Magardha Gram Panchayat of Jabalpur district in Madhya Pradesh had heard about the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) campaign both on radio and on television. She was convinced about the need to practice safe sanitation and the need to use toilets. So when the Gram Pradhan, Roop Ram Sena asked her if she had a toilet at home, she was embarrassed and ashamed and decided to do something about it.
About 3 kms of the rough path leading to Meedhiki village was surrounded by water on three sides and a dense forest in which the village was located on the 4th side. Home to just 10 families and a population of about 55, the human settlement was almost cut off from the rest of the district. While roads are non-existent, electric posts are now being installed.
About 28 years ago, the Bargi Dam was constructed across the Narmada River in the district owing to which, areas close to the dam were submerged. The main source of income for the families today is fishing.
As for Sakshi who currently studies in standard 6, she travels 10 kms by boat across the Bargi Dam reservoir to get basic provisions.
While explaining the benefits of using a toilet, the Pradhan also mentioned the incentive being provided to build individual household toilets. He helped her with all the information needed and the formalities.
With the help of the incentive, Sakshi brought materials required for the construction of the toilet such as bricks and cement from Magardha and carried them back to her home in the boat, all on her own.
Happy with the toilet that was built in her home with the PRI support; she began to tell others about the advantages of having a toilet. Gradually, other families in her village set up toilets in their homes, following her example, until the whole village became open defecation free (ODF).
[ The Blog was first published on https://sbmgramin.wordpress.com ]