GULBARGA: What do toilets have to do with going hungry? A lot, according to women of Shukrawadi village of Aland taluk in Gulbarga district.
Till last year, women of this village deliberately reduced their intake of food and water only to avoid visits to the toilet. With no toilets in their houses, they used to relieve themselves in the open before daybreak or after sundown.
But now, thanks to efforts of gram panchayat member Babu Rao Patil and Infosys Foundation, all 147 houses of this village of 598 people boast their own toilet. Patil convinced villagers on the necessity of having individual toilets.
Prior to 2013-14, only four houses of this village had toilets.
A team of journalists from Gulbarga who visited the village on Saturday was surprised to see even the poorest families having individual toilets.
For small houses, group toilets were constructed. In houses that were moderately small, toilets were accommodated in the kitchen-cum-bedroom.
Rukminibai, a dalit woman told reporters that women of the village faced humiliation for decades as they had to use open toilets.
Patil said Infosys Foundation’s initiative to educate people on using toilets and offer of finance, helped. The Foundation provided `8,000 per house, while the government pitched in with `4,700 under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and `5,400 under MGNREGS. The families gave their share of `10,000.
Patil said of the 147 families, 135 belonged to the BPL category. The village still lacks a drainage system and waste water flows in front of the houses.