Meet Kajal Roy, a village ward Panch from Sana, Jashpur district, Chhattisgarh. Setting an inspiring example Kajal mortgaged her jewellery to construct more than 100 toilets in the village.
Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Campaign, Kajal also roped in other women to this project and wants to educate people about the importance of using toilets.
It was not an easy decision. “First of all, I have started with my ward. Initially I started with 50 toilets and completed it on time. We have gone to each and every household to make people aware of using toilets and their importance. When there was problem with the funds I had to keep my jewellery worth ₹ 87,000 on mortgage to meet with the demands,” she says.
Over 8,000 villages in Chhattisgarh have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). One such village is Sana.
Kajal is also working towards training people on how to use the toilets. “We taught them how to use a toilet, gave them a step-by-step guide on how to wash hands properly,” she says adding that, “training 55-65-year-old people was a difficult task. They have been defecating in the open fields all their life, changing their mindset was next to impossible.”
Chief Executive Officer Zila Panchayat, Deepak says that when they got to know about Kajal’s mission, they thought of training her under the National Rural Livelihood Mission.
Kajal was given basic training for making bricks. That laid the foundation for Kajal to build on. She started training other women to make bricks so that they could build their own toilets
“Jewellery will come sooner or later, but the opportunity to work for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will not be there forever,” Kajal says.