Chhattisgarh’s Chandabai wants her stolen toilet back
Bilaspur: Chandabai Patel defecates in the open in her Chhattisgarh village declared open defecation free (ODF) in 2016. She should not because the government has given her a toilet at home. What is her problem? Well, her toilet exists only on paper.
She insists it has been “stolen”, and is determined to get it back.
On May 5, Chandabai and her mother-in-law, Belabai, 75, lodged a complaint alleging the toilet theft.
“I was told ₹12,000 was released in my name under an employment guarantee programme in 2015-16 for a toilet at my home and later ₹4,700 was given for the same work. I do not have a toilet, but the panchayat insists I do,” Chandabai told HT.
Chandabai, who is in her 50s, lost her husband 10 years ago and does not own any land. She has little going for her, but is still fighting, reported the Hindustan Times.
Chandabai and her family’s routine is an oddity that raises a stink around the Chhattisgarh government’s ODF status for Amarpur.
Inspector Islakh Khalko of Pendra police station, who is investigating the toilet theft complaint, said, “It seems to be a case of embezzlement.”
Police are recording the statement of several people, including the sarpanch and deputy sarpanch, he added.
Janpad panchayat chief executive officer KL Dhruve said, “I have sought details . We will help the aggrieved and culprits will be punished if found guilty.”
Local journalist Sharad Agarwal said Chandabai was enduring Amarpur’s “toilet scam” and she was not only one tricked. “Unlike others, Chandabai is fighting against the system for her rights. Her courage needs to be applauded.”