20-03-2012 : Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi
The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil met Smt. Anita Bai Narre of Jheetudhana Village in Betul District of Madhya Pradesh at Rashtrapati Bhavan today. The President appreciated her bold gesture of refusing to stay at her in-laws house after her marriage, due to lack of a proper latrine. The President said that her action will definitely initiate a strong movement in rural areas on this issue. The President said that the decision to leave her in-laws house after marriage required a lot of courage.
Anita Narre is from the tribal-dominated Betul district of Madhya Pradesh. She married to Shri Shivram Narre in May last year, but returned to her parent's house after discovering that her in-laws house lacked the facility of an indoor toilet. Her insistence on having a toilet at her in-laws place not only compelled her husband to take up the issue with the local Panchayat, but also made Sulabh International adopt Anita's village for its "Total Cleanliness Drive". The Panchayat of her village came forward in organizing funds for the construction of the toilet. She returned to her in-laws place only after a toilet was built.
In her interaction with the founder of Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, who was also present, the President suggested that a scheme by the NGO could be considered where the cost of construction of a toilet in a house could be shared, between them and the owner of the house. The President also suggested that youth could be involved in the process of creation of manure in the process of use of toilets. This could become a source of income for youth in rural areas.
This release issued at 1800 hrs.