A 28-year-old woman of Bhind district has vowed not to put on slippers till all the houses of her village have toilets.

Sapna Tomar, now a mother of two, had to come to terms with shame and fear as she had to defecate in the open after her marriage because her husband Udai Pratap Singh of Gungawali village did not have a toilet at his house.

However, a tragic incident strengthened her resolve to end open defecation. Sapna said she had a friend at Nunhera village of Rajasthan’s Dholpur district who was gang raped by two village youths about a-year-and-a-half ago when she had gone out to relieve herself. The victim did not share her ordeal with her kin but committed suicide by drinking phenyl.

“She would have been alive had there been a toilet at her husband’s house. So, I resolved to remain barefoot and not put on slippers till all the houses of her village have toilets,” says Sapna, who goes from door to door motivating villagers to build toilets in their houses. There are 315 Ahirwar families in the village and 138 of them have constructed toilets, largely because of Sapna’s initiative.

Recently, Bhind district panchayat’s chief executive officer Pravin Singh made her the motivator of the sanitation campaign and appealed villagers to cooperate with her vow to end open defecation in Bhind.