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Bride chooses toilet over jewellery: Gets Rs. 10 lakh as reward by NGO

Maharashtra: Twenty five-year-old Chaitali Galakhe, who demanded a toilet from her parents instead of jewellery as a wedding gift, will receive a cash reward of Rs.10 lakh from sanitation NGO Sulabh International.

Enthused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a 'Swachh Bharat', the woman from Maharashtra's Akola district insisted that a toilet should be built at the house, saying basic sanitation needs to be given much importance instead of jewellery and other wedding gifts.

Mail Today on Sunday reported that Galakhe had set a condition before her parents that she would marry only if they provided a toilet to her as her in-law's residence didn't have one.

In a statement, the NGO said it salutes the inspiring step taken by Galakhe of Andura village and called her the "messenger of sanitation".

Lauding the rural woman's move, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak - a social activist and the mentor of Sulabh International - said it is an impact of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Clean India campaign that has created awareness about sanitation. Dr. Pathak said Galakhe will be conferred with the Sulabh Sanitation Award and a cash reward of Rs.10 lakh soon.

"It is an achievement of the Modi government which is completing a year in office," he said.

Galakhe had kept the portable bio-toilet gifted by her father Dilip Galakhe on display at the wedding function and it had caught the attention of those who attended the marriage. The prefabricated toilet with a water closet, a wash basin and a mirror was the cynosure of all eyes at the event. The woman got married to Devendra Makode, who belongs to a village in Yavatmal district.

In the last couple of years, Sulabh has awarded six women from across the country for raising their voices for toilets. Madhya Pradesh's Anita Narre was conferred with Rs.7 lakh when she revolted against her husband over lack of a toilet at home. Priyanka Bharti and two other newly-wed brides from Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur region were honoured by Sulabh for taking a bold stand by giving more preference to toilets and revolting against their in-laws.

Now many of them are working as Sulabh ambassadors to motivate people for toilets. Another woman from Maharashtra's Washim district had sold her "mangalsutra" to build a toilet at her in-law's home. Sangita Awhale is now working as a Sulabh campaigner to propagate sanitation awareness among people.

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