Karnataka : Fulfilling PM’s Dream
While Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is committed to make India an open defecation free country soon, his mission is being helped by daring and dynamic youths like Bhavya Rani PC. Bhavya, who hails from a remote village in Karnataka.She has succeeded in constructing more than 400 toilets so far single-handedly. She is now on a mission to build toilets across the State and wants to make Karnataka an open defecation free State.
It is an interesting story to know why did Bhavya took up this challenge that too in a village which is hundreds of kilometres away from her native place? Bhavya, who hails from Dakshina Kannada District of Karnataka was
working in Bengaluru after her completion of Masters in Social Work. In 2010, she had a chance to visit a village-Shettygondanahalli in Tumkuru District for her friend’s wedding. As she stayed in the village for a night, she encountered a strange problem—there was no toilet in the house where she was staying. However, to her surprise, Bhavya realised that the entire village didn’t have a single toilet.
Bhavya went back to Bengaluru. The movie by Akshay Kumar Toilet Ek Prem Kath continued to haunt Bhavya so much that she immediately resigned from her job. She came back to Shettygondanahalli to convince people to construct toilets. For the next eight months or so, Bhavya went around the village and to her surprise she found that the 24 villages near Shettygondanahalli didn’t had toilets at all. So Bhavya decided to visit every household in these villages and convince people to construct toilets.
Speaking to Organiser correspondent, Bhavya said, “When I would try to convince people for constructing toilets, they would nod their head. However, when I came back a few weeks later, I was shocked that there was no progress in toilet construction at all. When I asked the
reason, the villagers said that they didn’t have money.” However, this didn’t deter Bhavya from her mission. She withdrew her savings from the bank which was around Rs 2 lakh. She invested her own money to construct the
toilets and was able to construct around 100 toilets. However, she says that convincing the villagers to
construct a toilet and use the toilet was one of the most challenging task. She says that people were not willing to use toilets and few women preferred open defecation. To convince people, she had one to one meetings with the local leaders, priests, cooks and women associations. Finally, they realised the importance of the toilets.
She said that she was greatly inspired by her parents in this mission. Bhavya said that she was motivated by a
real incident narrated by her father, who is a retired Government school teacher. During his young days, somewhere in 1970, he was posted to a Government School located in a remote village of Dakshina Kannada, having thatched roof with single classroom. Upon return from his annual vacation, to his dismay, he found the school building had totally collapsed and the records were destroyed or eaten away by termites. With his sheer determination and dedication, he got the so-called school building constructed, working shoulder to shoulder, day and night, with villagers and the school has now grown to be a full-fledged Higher Primary School; from where thousands of students have passed out and entered into the main stream of life.