Bride keeps her promise, returns after toilet is built

Bride keeps her promise, returns after toilet is built

In a ‘social coup’ of sort, a Dalit bride, refusing to answer the call of nature in the open, had run away from her in-laws’ house in an Uttar Pradesh village barely three days after she arrived there from her parents’ home. She came back only after a toilet was constructed at the house.

Priyanka Bharti, a dalit woman, poses for a photograph in front of the newly built toilet in Vishnupur-Khurd village in Uttar Pradesh.

There was no toilet at her in-law’s house. The bride, Priyanka Bharti, had promised to return as and when a toilet was constructed. But her in-laws being too poor to do that, it seemed the newly wed girl would never come back. However, Sulabh International, an NGO active in the field of making cost effective toilets, came to the rescue of the family.

Priyanka kept her promise. A month and a half later, as soon as a toilet was constructed along with some other facilities to make her life comfortable, Priyanka returned to her hubby’s home at the backward Vishnupur-Khurd village, about 300 kilometers from Lucknow to a rapturous and warm welcome. It literally turned out to be her first visit to the in-laws' home.

Her victory

On Wednesday, Priyanka was again welcomed by her in-laws at the village.
She betrayed a smile that indicated a victory not only for her but also for millions of other girls living in the rural areas and defecating in the open in the absence of any toilets.

Sulabh International constructed a toilet, a wash room and two other rooms at Priyanka’s new home.

‘I am happy now’

“I had left my sasural (in laws’ home) because there was no toilet there...I did not want to answer the call of nature in the open...it looks so humiliating...I do not have any other problem,” she told Deccan Herald adding, “I am very happy now.” Priyanka’s husband Amarjeet Kumar said: “I have got back my wife...I am proud of her.”

Sulabh founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak gave the bride Rs 2 lakh cash reward. A grand feast was also organized at the village to celebrate the return of its ‘bahu’ (daughter-in-law).

Sulabh also gave Rs 2 lakh each to two other girls, Jyoti and Priyanka (another girl) from the adjoining districts for a similar feat. The result: they, too, returned to their hubbies.

According to the 2011 census, about two crore homes in Uttar Pradesh do not have toilets.

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