Place residence

No toilet in the husband’s house, the bride returns to her parents

Mandleswar (Madhya Pradesh): Akshay Kumar’s film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha inspired many women in the village to stand up against open defecation. One such case is that of a bride from a village in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh who decided not to visit her in-laws. Raison? There were no toilets there.

Jaya Bhargava (22) only stayed with her husband and in-laws for a few months. She lives with her parents after a dispute between Jaya and her husband Kundan Khandekar (25), a resident of Rajipura village, about 15 kilometers from Mandleshwar, over the lack of toilets in their home.

According to her, she is ready to separate from her husband but is unwilling to defecate in the open.

She lives with her parents in Mandleshwar, while her husband lives with his parents. While she has a toilet at her parents’, she could not stomach the fact that there is no toilet at her in-laws.

“Either I go out to defecate early in the morning or in the evening under cover of darkness. I’m scared,” Jaya said. Her parents tried to convince her to go to her in-laws and live with her husband and her in-laws. All their efforts, however, have been in vain as she is adamant not to go. Even his wife was initially not ready to build a toilet at his house saying his financial situation was not good after Covid, but she did not give in.

Brides, parents received false information

Jaya’s parents informed that Jaya’s marriage was confirmed when Covid-19 was at its peak and there was very little human movement. So neither the girl nor her parents even saw the boy’s house. They were told that Kundan and her family are well settled with good agricultural land and property and the daughter only has to take care of the house.

The girl married happily. But her happiness in her in-laws began to gradually decline. She received no support from her husband for her needs, so she had to turn to her parents for her needs.

Failing to achieve her dreams, there was an argument between Jaya and Kundan even over minor issues.

Educated up to high school, Jaya was well aware that the government provided grants to build toilets in every village as part of the Swachh Bharat mission. She asked her husband to seek help from the government, but instead Kundan, irritated by this daily argument, left his wife Jaya at her parents’ house and did not pick her up.

The advice center intervenes

After receiving the request, the Women’s Counseling Center first took Jaya’s statement and spoke to her family members to find out about her issues.

Counseling center president Mary Joju and center member Sarika Jain recorded Jaya’s statement in writing. Jaya and her family members were in favor of a mutual agreement. Jaya also wanted to go to her in-laws, but the lack of facilities in the house troubled her very much. She said if a toilet is built in the house, she is good to go.

Mary Joju said Jaya’s husband and mother-in-law were called into talks but failed to resolve the matter. When Kundan was well advised at the center, he expressed his inability to build toilets because his financial situation was not good.

On the persuasion of the chairman and member of the counseling center, Kundan started the work of manufacturing the toilets, the progress report of which was sent by Kundan from time to time to the chairwoman of the counseling center Mary Joju.

The case again stopped at the bathroom door because Kundan did not have the money to install the door. His solution was found by putting a plastic sheet as a temporary door.

Kundan just temporarily opened the door and sent the photo to Mary Joju. To which Jaya was satisfied, she agreed to go with her husband. In the presence of Jaya’s family members, she was sent off with Kundan with best wishes for a new life.

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