Lucknow: Lack of a proper toilet is the least of reasons a young woman revolts. Not at least in Uttar Pradesh’s countryside where half the population is forced to defecate out in the open.
But for Priyanka, a Class 12 student in Maharajganj district, 365km from here, lack of a toilet was a big challenge.
So much so that she refused to stay in the house of her in-laws and ran away on the third night after her gauna — the traditional formal induction of a bride married in childhood.
Talking to IANS on telephone, the chirpy girl said she ran away from Vishunpur Khurd on April 13, demanding that they build a toilet to get the bahu back.
While she says that the toilet is still under construction, she found it shameful to go out in the open at her in-laws’ place every morning.
“Sir, I felt very embarrassed as many villagers were there in the open. So one day I ran away,” the runaway bride said.
Married to Amarjeet, a student, in 2007, she said she wants to live honourably and would like the toilet to be made before she decides to go back to her hubby.
Unless that happens, “I will stay put in my father’s house.”
Her father, a driver, who lives in Kanchanpur Kuiya, says he supports the will of her daughter and does not mind keeping her home till a proper toilet comes up at his damaad’s house.
Ram Jeevat, father-in-law of Priyanka, admitted that he was initially taken aback at the demand of his daughter-in-law and was furious that she had disappeared.
Jeevan told that a little later he understood the trauma the bahu must be going through as his own daughters — 17-year-old Sangeeta and 12-year-old Pana — shared their similar ordeals with him.
“What to do, Sir, I am an unemployed man. How do I construct a proper toilet?” Priyanka’s desire for a toilet seems to have been heard. Sanitation NGO Sulabh International has decided to reward her Rs.2 lakh.