That Tarun Das from Potka Block in Domjuri Panchayat of East Singhbhum district in Jharkhand was both caring and perceptive was obvious. No sooner had he heard about the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) and the health benefits it would bring to individuals and the community at large, than he started making arrangements to build a toilet at his home.
“I wanted my family to feel safe, comfortable and at the same time enjoy good health; and a toilet at home will go a long away to accomplish that,” the farmer said.
Having defecated in the open for as long as he could remember, the awareness building sessions organized by the panchayat officials were an eye-opener to him. He pondered over the fact that each day, his family of five had to walk a long way to a water source nearby to answer nature’s call. While his sons – Nibhas and Bhaskar often complained of the distance, his wife Savitri and daughter Bhavani found it extremely difficult to relieve themselves outdoors, while attempting to maintain their dignity. As for the dangers of the night while going out for the same purpose, he did not need further reminding.
“A sanitation facility, I knew would be an answer to all our problems,” Das added, recalling that he felt compelled to take some action.
Pooling all the resources he could, he made arrangements to build a toilet that was finally ready in December 2016. It was just in time for his daughter’s marriage that took place on 2nd February 2017. His initiative of building a toilet at home has set an example to others, majority of who depend of agriculture for their livelihood in the village, as well as the family of his son-in-law.