Ever since a toilet was constructed at her home in Kamal Basti of Gram Panchayat Campbell Bay in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Indira Wati and her family have been able to live with dignity and safety, the facility ensuring vital access to hygiene and sanitation.
The widow and mother of two sons, recalls that several years ago, her family would either go into the jungle or use the beach to answer nature’s call. They had no option but to do so in the absence of a toilet. Thereafter, a community sanitary complex was constructed a short distance from her home. While this helped to some extent, others in the community began to use the same and mornings saw a huge queue to use the facility that invariably ended in squabbles.
The situation was even more distressing when her husband passed away and she had to fend for herself and her two sons. Having to use the facility after dark was a nightmare.
When Indira heard that the Government was providing financial assistance for the construction of individual household toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G), she was elated to learn that she was eligible for the incentive. She contacted the Gram Panchayat Campbell Bay and received all the details required for the construction process. Besides, the Village Level Worker (VLW) frequently visited her home to check the progress of work, which was indeed very helpful.
Having a proper toilet inside her home has liberated and empowered her, instilling in her confidence to take decisions for the betterment of her family. She realises that safe sanitation can have a profound impact on the health and well-being of her family.
To the Gram Panchayat of Campbell Bay and the Directorate of Rural Development, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Indira Wati is extremely grateful. She is also grateful to the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen campaign that is assisting women and contributing to their self-confidence.