Washingtonpost.com – In India, More Women Demand Toilets Before Marriage:
An ideal groom in this dusty farming village is a vegetarian, does not drink, has good prospects for a stable job and promises his bride-to-be an amenity in high demand: a toilet.
In rural India, many young women are refusing to marry unless the suitor furnishes their future home with a bathroom, freeing them from the inconvenience and embarrassment of using community toilets or squatting in fields.
About 665 million people in India — about half the population — lack access to latrines. But since a “No Toilet, No Bride” campaign started about two years ago, 1.4 million toilets have been built here in the northern state of Haryana, some with government funds, according to the state’s health department.
Women’s rights activists call the program a revolution as it spreads across India’s vast and largely impoverished rural areas.
“I won’t let my daughter near a boy who doesn’t have a latrine,” said Usha Pagdi, who made sure that daughter Vimlas Sasva, 18, finished high school and took courses in electronics at a technical school.
“No loo? No ‘I do,’ ” Vimlas said, laughing as she repeated a radio jingle.
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