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No bride for a house without toilet in Haryana village

Ranjeet Jamwal | Chandigarh |

Inspired by Bollywood movie “Toilet – Ek Prem Katha” which gives message of cleanliness and an admonition against open defecation, a village panchayat (council) in Haryana has decided to marry their daughters only in those houses which have toilets.

In a meeting held earlier this month, the panchayat of Gaundika village in Sirsa decided against marrying their daughters in houses which lack toilets.

Speaking to The Statesman, the village sarpanch Dharmpal Mundlia said he thought of taking this initiative after watching “Toilet – Ek Prem Katha”.

This was after the Manohar Lal Khattar government last year arranged a special screening of movie for the village sarpanches of Haryana in an effort to sensitise them about cleanliness and encourage them to work towards a ‘Swachh Bharat’.

“After watching the movie, I really felt that each household should have a functional toilet so that no one specially women and girls are not forced to go out of the house to defecate in the open,” Dharmpal said over phone from Sirsa.

He said after he discussed the idea (of not marrying daughters in houses without toilets) with the ward members of the panchayat, everyone in the village with a population of over 3500 expressed support for the same.

“After much discussion, we brought a resolution for it on 8 June and it was passed in the presence of village residents,” Dharmpal said. “If we are really serious about safety of our women and girls, it’s a must to have a toilet in the household. Therefore, no girl in our village will be married in a house which is not having a toilet,” he added.

Dharmpal said Gaundika village is already open defecation free (ODF) and even public toilets have been constructed in the village for those who belong to other area and come to village for some business.

Meanwhile, congratulating the panchayat of Gaundika village through his tweet for their unique decision to marry their daughters in those houses only which have toilets, in a tweet Haryana Chief Minister (CM), Manohar Lal Khattar, has suggested all other village panchayats to follow suit.

“The Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat project envisioned an India free of the open defecation and a toilet in each home. The decision taken by the Godikan village is really appreciable,” said the CM in a tweet on Monday.

A satirical comedy, ‘Toilet – Ek Prem Katha’ had reflected the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and was based on a true life incident where a bride leaves her husband because the latter does not have a toilet at his residence.