Snehlata Launches FINISH Program’s 2 Millionth Toilet

Snehlata Launches FINISH Program’s 2 Millionth Toilet

Lucknow, April 9 (TNA) Twenty-five kms from the bustling city of Gorakhpur lies Dumri Khas situated in the second largest block of Sardarnagar, consisting of 13 tolas (clusters) and comprising 10,000 residents mostly belonging to the Paswan and Muslim community. The sprawling village witnessed history on Monday April 8, even as Snehlata, (50) officially inaugurated her 2 millionth toilet, by cutting the ribbon around 11 am marking A red-letter day for the FINISH (Financial Inclusion Improves Sanitation & Health) program as well as keeping with the avowed objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).

When Snehlata agreed to take a sanitation loan of Rs 30,000 from Sonata Microfinance Ltd back in June 2023, little did she know that her decision to construct a twin leach pit household toilet would usher in a silent revolution in the outback of Eastern Uttar Pradesh. The Gram Pradhan Achhey Kumar Sahu said the once unhygienic village needed beneficiaries like Shnehlata to set the tone for safe sanitation in the village.

The Branch Manager of Sonata Microfinance Rahul Paswan said Snehlata was more than willing to take the loan and build a toilet because she got convinced it would transform her family’s live forever. He says Snehlata’s decision to take a sanitation loan was considered a revolutionary step since she was among the earliest to take such a progressive decision. Now that the toilet is being used regularly, she recalls those dreadful days when her 4 daughters would brave inclement weather and head out at the crack of dawn to attend to nature’s call.

This milestone marked a great accomplishment for the FINISH team, but they are not slowing down just yet. Successes in the Indian context gave way for the next phase of FINISH  as the program achieved the scale and synergy in a six-nation initiative. The six countries include Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, India and Tanzania. 

Once the toilet was built life transformed and open defecation became a thing of the past. Snehlata says that three of her daughters are now married and settled while she and her two children, daughter Kanchan who has completed her graduation and a son Abhishek who is in the second year of college, are more confident now that they don’t have to face the vicissitudes of ‘going out in the open’ anymore. Snehlata proudly says that her family doesn’t have to face health hazards like diarrhea and vomiting, what to speak of the fear of getting bitten by insects and snakes during the monsoon season.

She goes on to reveal that one of her married daughters Ritu is now a trained nursing officer, thus reflecting the aspirations of her family and that of the people of her village. Belonging to the Paswan community, a scheduled caste which dominates the block, she is today a beacon of hope for her community.

Going down the past, one needs to recall that on May 27, 2019, when Nirmala Devi (50), from Dahiya village of Imayatpur block of Chakiya district of Uttar Pradesh, decided to declare open her individual toilet, she became a part of FINISH history by becoming the one millionth beneficiary. Nirmala Devi, wife of Shyam Dhar, managed to construct the toilet with funds from Swachh Bharat Mission and a loan from Cashpor Micro Credit, which is active in the area.

The toilet was thoughtfully declared open by Nirmala Devi, wife of Shyam Dhar, who managed to construct the toilet with funds from Swachh Bharat Mission and a loan from Cashpor Micro Credit, which is active in the area. She took this decision since one of her two daughters who had got married recently was using a toilet in her husband’s house and was embarrassed to come home and defecate in the open.

While setting new targets for safe sanitation to reach an increasing amount of people and further expand in India, FINISH Program is focused on the sustainability of building on the first 1 Million toilets built. Five year later, marked a huge opportunity for innovation and support for businesses engaged in the complete life cycle of sanitation—the circular economy of waste—to make sure the 2 million beneficiaries are not left behind in achieving the objectives of the FINISH Program and meeting the targets and core concepts of the Swachh Bharat Mission. (SBM). By 2025, FINISH aims to build 3.5 million safe sanitation systems across the length and breadth of the country.

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Agency