Woman who put her foot down for toilet becomes 'cleanliness ambassador'

Betul: A 20-year-old woman, who left her husband about a year-and-half ago demanding a toilet facility, has been made Betul's 'Swachhata Doot' (cleanliness ambassador).

"We have made Seema Patel the district 'swachhata doot' under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Work of constructing a toilet at her husband's place has also started. We are also going to felicitate her for her extraordinary courage," Betul collector Gyaneshwar B Patil told PTI.

He said that Seema's action will give a fillip to the Prime Minister's flagship campaign. Seema left her 23-year-old husband Mohan Patel's home at Shahpur block in the district a year-and-half ago.

She had returned to her maternal house at Piparia town in Hoshangabad in January last year saying that she will return to her in-laws place only after a toilet was build.

Recently, Mohan approached a family counselling centre at Shahpur to re-unite with Seema.

The counselling centre member Rajani Gaikwad took a dim view of the matter and after going through it last week, asked Mohan to build a toilet within a month.

After her marriage in May 2012, Seema spent a long time at her in-law's place and constantly asked them to build a toilet in the house, Gaikwad said.

Before Seema, Betul district's Anita Narre, a tribal woman of Chichouli village also left her husband in 2011 for want of toilet facility.

Narre's courage was widely praised and Bindeshwari Pathak, chairman of NGO Sulabh International presented her Rs 5 lakh for her decision. Narre was also honoured by former President Pratibha Patil in 2011.

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