A seven-year-old Indian lady went to the police after her father broke his promise to construct her a rest room.
Hanifa Zaara advised the police in a letter that her father had “cheated” her and will due to this fact be arrested. She mentioned that she was “ashamed” to defecate outdoors.
Many Indians do no have entry to bathrooms and almost 500 million defecate within the open, in keeping with Unicef.
Even the place bathrooms have been constructed, many don’t use them.
Hanifa who lives along with her mother and father in Ambur, a city within the southern state of Tamil Nadu, has by no means had a rest room in her home.
She advised BBC Tamil’s Krithiika Kannan that just a few folks in her neighbourhood did have the ability. So she requested her father to construct a rest room of their home too. She was in nursery on the time.
“I used to be ashamed to go outdoors and I felt unhealthy when folks checked out me,” Hanifa mentioned. And she or he was particularly motivated after studying in class concerning the well being issues brought on by open defecation.
In her letter to the police, she wrote that her father advised her he would construct the bathroom if she topped her class.
“I’ve been topping my class since nursery,” she wrote. “I’m within the second grade now. And he’s nonetheless solely saying he’ll do it. It is a type of dishonest, so please arrest him.” If not arrest, she added, she needed the police to no less than pressure him to supply her with a signed letter saying by when he would get her the bathroom.
Her father, Ehsanullah advised BBC Tamil he had truly begun constructing the bathroom, however has not been in a position to full it because of an absence of funds. He’s at present unemployed.
“I satisfied Hanifa to present me extra time however she stopped speaking to me as a result of I could not maintain my promise,” he added.
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However Hanifa is just not sympathetic. “How lengthy can I maintain asking him for a similar factor? He saved giving me the identical excuse about not having sufficient cash. So I went to the police.”
On Monday, she went to the police station closest to her faculty, alongside along with her mom, Mehareen.
“She got here with a bag full of trophies and benefit certificates and she or he organized them on my desk,” police officer A Valarmathi advised BBC Tamil. “After which she mentioned, are you able to give me a rest room?”
Ms Valamarthi says she referred to as Mr Ehsanullah, who rushed to the police station, nervous that his spouse and daughter had been at risk. He says he was shocked to seek out out the rationale he had been summoned.
After studying the detailed letter Hanifa had written, he mentioned she appeared to have realized tips on how to write official letters by watching him.
Mr Ehsanullah typically helps villagers fill out paperwork and write letters to native officers and lawmakers.
“I by no means thought this might backfire towards me!” he mentioned.
Hanifa’s efforts, have gained the sympathy and assist of the police.
“Her grievance was very trustworthy, so we tried to resolve the difficulty,” officer Valamarthi mentioned.
She alerted district officers who now plan to lift cash to construct greater than 500 bathrooms in Hanifa’s neighbourhood.
“We had been very pleased to see her grievance. We organise lessons in colleges to encourage youngsters to ask their mother and father for bogs at residence,” metropolis commissioner S Parthasarathy advised BBC Tamil.
He mentioned additionally they wish to make her the native face of the nationwide Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clear India Marketing campaign).
The federal government has set a purpose to supply each family with a rest room by 2019, however the work has been met with some resistance.
A latest examine discovered that mentioned 89% of rural Indians overtly defecate as a result of they don’t wish to clear the bathroom or reside shut to at least one – an perspective, researchers say, is “rooted within the social forces of caste and untouchability”.
For hundreds of years, the observe of cleansing human waste was a process carried out by these from low-caste communities.
Hanifa mentioned she was “very pleased” with the results of her letter.
She hadn’t been chatting with her father for the final 10 days however the police brokered peace between them: Hanifa and her father lastly shook fingers.