While the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is taking the nation by storm, the story of Mubarakpur Kala village is an inspiration.
The residents of the village have set a marvellous example for others in the country.
Building Toilets On Their Own
In what took the administration officials by surprise, the residents of the village returned Government aid of ₹17.5 lakh to build toilets in their homes. Instead, they took the onus to collect money and build toilets themselves.
Proposal From The Village Pradhan
Mubarakpur Kala falls under the Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh. It has 661 families, mostly Muslims, with a population of over 3500. Of the 661 families, only 146 had toilets. To make the village open defecation-free (ODF), the officials sought a proposal from the village Pradhan Kishwar Janha.
After Janha sent the proposal, Indramani Tripathi (Chief Development Officer) and Manish Kumar (District Panchayati Raj Officer) released a sum of ₹17.5 lakh into the joint bank account of the gram Secretary and Pradhan.
A Noble Deed During Ramzan
The officers didn’t know that they were in for a pleasant surprise. The residents of the village returned the money saying, “This is the month of Ramzan, when one should give but not take any monetary help, and do good work. To construct toilets in every house is good work and we will do it on our own.”
An Example For All
Lauding the gesture, CDO Tripathi said that Mubarakpur Kala might be the first village in Uttar Pradesh where residents refused aid from the Government to build toilets. He further added that the villagers and the Pradhan have set a noble example for all.
Road To Glory
Reflecting on the initiative, an achievement in every sense by the villagers, Pradhan Janha said it all started with a meeting in the village a couple of months ago. Women participated in large numbers and urged the need of a toilet in every house.
Afterwards, officials came and released the required funds. After the money was received, another meeting was held where the residents were asked if the Government aid should be used or not.
In a unanimous decision, they agreed to return the aid and collect the funds by themselves. They felt it was their duty. Not only this, they decided to collect money and help those who were too poor to afford it.
The efforts of the residents of the Mubarakpur Kala village yielded the desired result. With the villagers collecting money and pitching in with labour, toilets were constructed. Early in June, officials visited the village and officially declared it ODF.
The road was not easy for the residents of the Mubarakpur Kala village. It required immense self-belief, determination, focus and hard work. However, they have proved that where there’s a will there’s a way.