Sarwan Lal Bairwa resides in Dhakiya with his wife Mamta Devi and two children Pravin and Vijayalaxmi. Dhakiya is a Gram Panchayat village with at least 250 families as inhabitants. Sarwan is the first among the 100 beneficiaries who benefited from the toilets facilitated in the village by Habitat for Humanity India and its partners.
Sarwan is a farmer and a Satsang singer. He says: “The toilet has proved to be safe and useful for my family especially for the women as I am usually out at night for Satsang. In my absence my wife and my daughter felt insecure going out but now I am less worried about their safety.’’ Mamta mentions that she keeps the toilet locked. “If it is kept unlocked others may use it” she says. This reflects a sense of ownership among the family members. Sarwan says: “I had plans of renovating my house this year and when the toilet provision was announced I opted in because it was my priority and I could have one at a lesser price. We did not know the consequences of defecating outdoors — it was simply our habit. We were not educated on the importance of good hygiene. But now, we are very excited to have our latrines.”
18 toilets have been built in Dhakiya Gram Panchayat where the beneficiaries contributed 25% of the construction cost. They also contributed their labour in the process of construction which ensured ownership. “It’s a proud moment for me to set a milestone in sanitation in Tonk and my village. I have purchased a primer for the door because I want it to last long with low maintenance.” says Sarwan.