Mirzapur, India, 03 September 2018 - Sixty-year-old Mangra Devi along with 11 other women of Ramchandrapur village are proud members of the village’s Nigrani Samiti (vigilante committee) whose relentless efforts have ensured an Open Defecation Free (ODF) status for the village.
The members of this all-women group have been on their toes, taking rounds of the village and urging people not to defecate in the open for the last couple of years. Their day starts with community patrolling at 4 a.m. in the morning to deter people from defecating in open and explain to them the importance of toilets. The women have also helped people with the formalities of facilitating government funds for toilet construction.
Mangra Devi, who is the head of the Nigrani Samiti says, “When I came to the village after my marriage, there were no toilets and women faced a lot of inconveniences. But I never wanted my daughters-in-law to face the same problem. So, we got a toilet constructed at our home.”
The leadership of Mangra Devi has ensured a toilet, not just for her four daughters-in-law, but for all other women of the village. The villagers unanimously agree that the Open-Defecation free status has drastically made their surroundings cleaner and healthier.
The Ramchandrapur village, Block Majhwa in Mirzapur District was declared Open Defecation free in January 2017. On October 3 2018, UNICEF’s Executive Director Henrietta H Fore will participate in a walk of pride in the village and will get to see firsthand the sanitation situation in the community. She will also interact with the members of the Vigilante Committee.