Srinagar, July 9: In their 80s, most people will be either bedridden or others will look after them. However, octogenarian Rakkhi Devi is not one of them. Even in her sunset years she decided to build a toilet at her home with her own hands and has become a true inspiration for the residents of her village in Jammu and Kashmir.
By building the toilet to end open defecation in Udhampur's Badali, Devi (87) brilliantly showcased the residents of her village the true meaning of the mass movement--Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission)--started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014.
Impressed by her zeal to inspire others to build toilets in their homes to stop open defecation, the district administration has awarded her with a cheque of Rs 12,000. The local administration has also constructed a pucca toilet at her home.
What is truly commendable is that Devi, who is a poor woman, did the masonry work on her own to construct the toilet as she can't bear the expenses of hired labourers.
"J&K: Rakkhi Devi, 87-year-old woman from Udhampur's Badali who constructed a toilet near her house in a bid to make her village open defecation free, felicitated by Dist Admn. GoI provided her a cheque of Rs 12,000 via Dy Commissioner & also got a Pucca toilet constructed for her," tweeted ANI.
J&K: Rakkhi Devi, 87-year-old woman from Udhampur's Badali who constructed a toilet near her house in a bid to make her village open defecation free, felicitated by Dist Admn. GoI provided her a cheque of Rs 12,000 via Dy Commissioner & also got a Pucca toilet constructed for her pic.twitter.com/XW5P7CYP5Q— ANI (@ANI) July 8, 2018
Speaking to ANI, the octogenarian said that she had been defecating in the open for decades without knowing its ill effects.
"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 on my own. Within seven days my toilet will be completed," she added.
"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," a senior official was quoted as saying by ANI.
Take a cue from her work, all the villagers have now decided to build toilets in their respective homes. Isn't it truly inspiring how one person can change a whole village?