Ranchi: At a time when the government is vigorously advocating for toilets in every household in rural areas, a class 12 girl student from Dumka district in Jharkhand has committed suicide, after failing to persuade her parents to build a toilet at their residence.
17-year-old Khushbu Kumari killed herself by hanging from the ceiling of her room.
According to Khushbu's parents, their daughter repeatedly tried to convince them to build a toilet, but they didn't give her plea a priority, as they wanted to save money for her marriage.
Her relatives claim that the class XII student used to feel ashamed to defecate in the open.
Some reports say that the family stays in a concrete house, but never thought of building a toilet.
Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak called the Dumka suicide incident as tragic and said it shows that it is tough for women to manage without a toilet in the house.
"This is a tragic incidence, difficult to describe. It shows how tough it is for women without a toilet in the house. The girl kept on insisting to get a toilet built. The father should have taken her demand seriously," Pathak told ANI.
A recent United Nations report has said that India has made "moderate" progress in reducing open defecation rates among its population and has succeeded in providing access to improved drinking water to more people in urban and rural areas.
It said India is among the 16 countries that have reduced open defecation rates by at least 25 percentage points.
"The 31 percent reduction in open defecation in India alone represents 394 million people and significantly influences regional and global estimates," it said.
The report, however, noted that in India, there has been very little change over the last 20 years in reducing open defecation among the poor.