Wife in India files for divorce because husband won’t build toilet

Published: May 3, 2014

File photo: the interior of a public toilet in Montreal. John Mahoney/THE GAZETTE

IANS

Patna  – A woman in the northeastern Indian village of Bihar is filing for divorce because her husband won’t build a toilet in their home.

The case came to light when Alakh Niranjan’s wife, who hasn’t been named, called a women’s helpline in Patna asking for help with a divorce. The woman said she’s upset she must navigate her way through a dark and open field in order to go to the washroom at night.

“She is not ready to live with her husband. In fact, absence of a toilet has forced her to demand a divorce,” said Sarita Sajal, a women’s helpline counsellor.

The woman has told the helpline that Niranjan has been beating her for demanding the toilet, the counsellor added.

“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,” Niranjan’s wife said.

However, Niranjan has assured her he would build the toilet soon.

“I failed to build the toilet due to financial problems but will do it now to save our marriage,” Niranjan said.

Sajal said the women’s helpline has called the couple to resolve the dispute.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced last November that his government was committed to providing toilets for every home.

He said open defecation was an affront to human dignity and the government will ensure this problem is addressed soon.

Bihar has a population of more than 105 million people, of which 22 million lack toilet facilities. The central government planned to construct 11 million toilets in the state last year.

IANS 2014-05-03 14:24:08

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