Mumbai: Toilet or divorce - that's the choice Vandana Thorat has given her husband Santosh, a farmer in Maharashtra's Beed district. She has even slapped a legal notice making her demand amply clear: She wants a toilet built within one month.
"We feel ashamed to defecate in the open. For two years I have been telling him. My daughter said to leave him. We had to squat on the roads. So I sent him the notice," Vandana said.
Santosh recently built a new brick and mortar house in the Pangri village, but without any toilet. They have a daughter and the women have to resort to open defecation which compelled Vandana to push her 17-year-old marriage to the brink.
"I got the notice which says if I don't build a toilet within a month, she will divorce me," said Santosh.
In a similar incident in May, a woman in a Bihar village demanded a divorce from her husband for not constructing a toilet in their house. She was upset over being forced to make her way to an open field every day under the cover of darkness to defecate.
"Since 2009, my husband has been promising and assuring me to construct the toilet but it is yet to be built. Whenever I insisted for it, he thrashed me. Now I have decided not to live with him," the woman said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his Independence Day speech, had stressed on the needs for toilets as much as digital India. Mr Modi also urged all parliamentarians to invest their constituency funds into building toilets in every school.