Swachh Bharat: 87-year-old woman honoured for building toilet

In recognition of her relentless efforts to make her village open defecation-free, a 87-year-old woman who built her own toilet was honoured on Sunday.

Rakkhi, a resident of Badali village of Udhampur, who is an inspiration to many, was awarded a cheque of Rs 12000 by the Deputy Commissioner Udhampur for her endeavour towards ‘Swachh Bharat’. In appreciation of her work, the Deputy Commissioner promised to get a ‘pucca’ toilet made at her place.

After the district administration team of the village launched many awareness camps about the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ and educating villagers about the ill effects of defecating in open, Rakkhi took a lead and decided to construct her own toilet.

Rakkhi, who has been going to the fields to defecate for years, decided to build a toilet in her village. As she comes from a humble background, Rakkhi, who did not have much money to hire labourers to build the toilet, started doing the masonry work all by herself.

Rakkhi says that she wants to see her village open defecation free and has been drawn inspiration after a series of awareness campaigns in her village.

“I want everyone to use the toilet as defecating in open gives birth to many kinds of diseases. I am poor and don’t have money to build a toilet. Hence I decided to build the toilet with my own hands without any construction tool or help. My son made the mud for my toilet after which I levelled the bricks and did the masonry work myself. Within seven days my toilet will be completed,” she said.

Deputy Commissioner Udhampur praised her work saying, “It is time for people to change their traditional mindset. I was surprised to know that an 87-year-old woman built the toilet herself without any help. I salute the spirit of the woman and everyone should learn a lesson from her.”

The Deputy Commissioner also said that every possible help will be provided to the lady. The 87-year-old has led the way and has become a role model for not just her village, but for the entire country.