For numerous people in the expanding world, the absence of regulated and sanitary toilets endures a daily certainty. Not much was talked about the value of toilets till the recent Akshay Kumar movie, “Toilet Ek Prem Katha” where he strived for construction of Toilets to restrict people from open-defecation. Eradicating the problem of lack of access to toilets in various parts is a big challenge in itself. It involves educating the public about the importance of hygiene and sanitization and also taking steps to assist them for the same.
Monika Ijardar from Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh began her swachh journey at the age of 19 in 2014. Today, she is appreciated all over India as a modern swachhgrahi who has also been praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for her dedicated swachh trials. It all sprang when our Prime Minister Narendra Modi kick-started the swachh campaign in 2014. During that time, Raigarh was overflowing with swachh volunteers who had begun to instruct people about the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Monica was preparing for her first semester exams, but she considered visiting one training session to understand what the campaign was all about.
Ever since it has become her life slogan. With an intention to provoke people, Monika started going to people’s residences personally and began teaching people on the necessity of having a toilet at home. Moreover, she trained people on how to construct a low-cost toilet at home. Other than this, Monica used smart approaches of comparing the importance of hygiene with religious beliefs saying Religious animals like Cows are prone to eat the dirt due to open-defecation. All these techniques proved victorious for Monika, within 15 days, her first block was reported open defecation free. Gradually Monika began stretching out the perception to more panchayats and blocks.
She has assisted more than 1500 families, today they all are appreciating the advantages of possessing a toilet at home. She has been able to make made Raigarh free from defecation and is keen on striving towards making many more areas of the country open-defecation free. She has been motivating thousands of people. Her work deserves t be highlighted in all the states.
Chhattisgarh today is converting to an open defecation free state. The state’s rural sanitation coverage faded at 40 percent back in 2014, now it has reached nearly 100 percent due to the constant attempts of district officials and the local residents. The mission is to reveal the rural parts free from open defecation at the earliest. These courageous and constant attempts by Monica has sparked many people and her struggles are really appreciated by people who read her uplifting story. We salute Monica and her extraordinary efforts.