Davangere: For this IAS officer, toilet is the real prem katha'

No prizes for guessing what this Avenger will do when she returns and finds no toilet!

Bengaluru: The woman who wields a shovel will always call the shots! In the case of Ms Ashwati, the chief executive officer of Zilla Panchayat, Davangere, she proved the adage by kicking off her sandals, hitching up her sari and to the consternation of the watching officials and the villagers, picking up the shovel and clearing away the debris and garbage that one villager said was preventing him from constructing a toilet.

No prizes for guessing what this Avenger will do when she returns and finds no toilet!

With one eye on making Davangere free from open defecation this year as part of ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ this 2013 batch IAS officer who hails from Kerala regularly tours villages to take stock of the construction of toilets in the district.

On Tuesday, Ashwati arrived in Devarahalli village in Chennagiri taluk and went straight to Bhyrappa, a villager who stood his ground about not building a toilet despite the best efforts of local taluk panchayat officials, all the while refusing to come clean on why he was reluctant to do so. Ashwati, unfazed peppered him with questions, even offering to foot the bill from the ZP funds if he was facing a financial crunch. Even when his wife and daughter joined the 'nay' chorus, Ashwati didn't relent. That's when Mr Bhyrappa finally came clean - his neighbour was building a house and had dumped debris on his side of house where he had planned to build a toilet. When she asked him why he couldn’t clear it, he shot back “why don’t you remove the debris.” And that’s exactly what she did!

That was the final straw. The diminutive firebrand wasn't having that! Without further ado, Ashwati picked up the shovel, and as her officers watched, open-mouthed, cleared the debris in less than 20 minutes!

As she later told Deccan Chronicle: "I did not feel bad as my aim is to make Davangere free from open defecation this year. Why should I think it's below my dignity to do that job. I am happy that I did. My team of executive officers, panchayat development officers and gram panchayat officers are toiling day and night to achieve the target".

The CEO said she was making use of students to identify houses which don't have toilets and bring it to the notice of officers concerned through headmasters so that the ZP could concentrate on such villages rigorously.

Recently, 245 pregnant women were felicitated on behalf of zilla panchayat, for insisting their husbands to build toilets in their houses. This helped in building 245 toilets in various villages.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story