Mumbai: A feisty woman in Maharashtra who sold her gold "mangalsutra" - the wedding chain and pendant - to raise money to construct a toilet in her remote village home has earned kudos from people, and a felicitation by Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde.
Sangita Awhale, from Saikkhed village in Washim district of Vidarsbha, recently set off a social revolution by insisting on women`s dignity and a toilet for the womenfolk in her humble dwelling.
Her husband Narayan ignored her demand, pleading resource constraints, and even her in-laws did not support her, she told media persons Thursday.
The womenfolk in her home were compelled to go to nearby fields to answer nature`s calls, dodging stares from men.
"Toilet is a basic requirement for any family, not ornaments. I decided to sell my gold `mangalsutra` to finance the construction of a toilet in my home," she told media persons in the minister`s office here Thursday afternoon.
Her feat earned admiration from not only her family but the villagers, and as the news spread through local media, from people across Maharashtra. For, `mangalsutra` is not a mere chain and a pendant, but dearest to a married Maharashtrian woman as it symbolises her wedlock.
"We want to construct maximum number of toilets in the state and shall ensure that women don`t face any embarrassment on this count," Munde said, lauding Awhale`s unique initiative.
As a token of appreciation for taking forward Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Munde presented Awhale with a brand new `mangalsutra`, which she asked her husband Narayan to tie it round his wife`s neck amidst cheers and claps.
Awhale expressed hope that now more men in villages would heed to their womenfolk`s demands for toilets to ensure they meet a basic necessity as well as dignity.