Flag bearers of cleanliness

There was a time when Daksha Rathore dreaded waking up early morning. It wasn’t so much about lack of sleep due to waking up at an unearthly hour but the ‘walk of shame’ which she had to endure every single day with a dozen odd women from her neighborhood. It was the walk that took them to bushes, before the sun rose, to answer nature’s call.

But today this sarpanch from Devbhumi Dwarka district in Verad, Gujarat, is not just a proud toilet owner but also a sanitation champion for others who have, for long, been used to defecating in the open. Almost all the women in her village had faced the problem of going out in the field for defecation. For them it was next to hell, a shameful act they had to perform every day. “Constructing a toilet in our house has changed my life. Darkness is no longer my best friend,” says Rathore.

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