Thursday 09 April, 2020

Give us something to eat before giving us toilet

Give us something to eat before giving us toilet

This is a story about Ram Mandal ( name changed) in one of the remote community in Sarlahi district.

As in other community, this community has received support from a donor to construct toilet and subsequently VDC was declared as Open Defecation Free VDC with a big fanfare.

I arrived there after couple of weeks of declaration of ODF policy. When I approached to the home of Ram Mandal, I saw a brand new toilet, which was constructed with the support from development partners. To my surprise, it looks like that the toilet has never been used. With curiosity, I asked to Ram Mandal about toilet and reasonz for not using it. He sarcastically said that ,“Sir we do not have anything to eat, it is better for us to give something to eat and only after that toilet is of some use”

Ram Mandal and his family are surviving on daily wages and sometime entire family have nothing to eat when there is no work available. So what Ram Mandal said was quite striking. I concur with him that Development partner should provide livelihood and income generating activities before giving toilet. I am wondering who will listen to poor Ram Mandal. We are more concerned with meeting our logframe indicators than the real needs of the poor people like Ram Mandal.

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