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Woman mortgages jewellery to construct toilet

Patna : Setting a rare and inspiring example that has drawn her applause, a woman in Bihar mortagaged her gold and silver jewellery to raise money for constructing toilet at her house.

Phulkumari Devi, in her mid-20s, a resident of Barahkhanna village in Rohtas district, around 150 km Patna, has mortgaged her ‘mangalsutra’, ‘nathia’, ‘payal’ and ‘bali’.

For Phulkumari, it was not an easy decision to make as her mother-in-law Dewanti Devi and husband Vinod Kumar — a daily wage labourer, were against it.

“Both tried to stop me… but I convinced them,” she said.

“My mother-in-law said a married woman’s personal jewellery is a symbol of her ‘suhaag’ and one should not mortgage them for constructing toilet,” she added.

“It is an unique step by Phulkumari… her story will inspire others. Her intention and commitment are remarkable, the district administration will reward her for it,” Rajesh Kumar, a district official said.

Millions of people in Bihar do not have toilets at home.

“My toilet is under construction now. I am sure and confident that I will complete construction of my toilet before August 15 (Independence Day),” Phulkumari said.

She also said that it is a shame for a woman to defecate outside and a toilet is a must in every home.

Last week a newly-wed woman in Khothawa village in West Champaran district has declared she is “divorcing” her husband for not getting a toilet constructed at their house, and making her suffer the humiliation of going out in open to relieve herself.