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Maharashtra woman sacrifices ’mangalsutra’ for toilet
Saturday, November 08, 2014

 Maharastra: She is a woman of substance. Meet 30-year-old Sangita Awhale who sold her ’mangalsutra’ to get a toilet built in her house. On Thursday, Sangita was felicitated by Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde. As a token of appreciation, the minister bought a gold necklace for Sangita.

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Sangita’s story is similar to that of several other women in rural Maharashtra, who have to defecate in the open. Sangita’s parents’ home had a toilet, but her husband’s house in Washim did not have one. "Women squat in the open along a road which leads to the fields. It is embarrassing.

We would stand up whenever vehicles passed the area. I had been undergoing the harrowing experience for 12 years," said Sangita who wanted a toilet in her house, but her pleas fell on husband Narayan’s deaf ears. "I used to think that when affluent families in the village did not have toilets, why a poor family like us should have one," Narayan said.

Sangita’s resolve grew stronger as adolescent daughter faced the same problem. "I sold all my gold ornaments to get the work done. None of my family members backed my move, but I preferred sauchalaya to sona," she said.



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