Panchayat of the villages has always remained in news due to their Taliban like orders on inter-caste and love marriages. Several Khap panchayats have also justified honour killing and have even passed orders supporting the same. Again an order of Panchayat has made headlines in media, but this time the reason is very different. The Panchayat of Bigwada village of Baghpat district in western Uttar Pradesh has taken a collective decision to not to marry off their daughters to people in villages where there are no toilets.
Open defecation gives birth to numerous diseases, thus, the decision brought immense happiness to all the villagers, especially the girls. There are nearly 60 crore people all over India who indulge in open defecation, which not just causes environmental pollution but also results in numerous diseases and stunts children’s growth. Dirt and open defecation are among the major causes of diseases such as diarrhoea, jaundice, and polio. Nearly 22 lakh people die as a result of diarrhoea each year, which is majorly caused by consuming polluted water.
The village has understood the essence of the central government’s Swachh Bharat mission. The villagers said that open defecation makes a place dirty, resulting in the birth of disease-causing germs. The decision has been taken by keeping the fact in the mind that defecation in open field is against the dignity of a woman. The Panchayat has also set the punishment for the violators of the decision.
The decision has really upheld the dignity of women and paves a way for the upliftment of women’s lives in rural areas. People from all across the country have welcomed Panchayat’s decision of ensuring woman’s dignity and safety. A woman from the village says that this decision will really help the womenfolk as they face difficulties otherwise.
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