Woman divorces husband over lack of toilet

She kept requesting for a toilet for two years but after finally realising that her appeal had not been taken seriously, she eventually divorced her husband

Patna: A woman in Bihar has divorced her husband after rows over the lack of a toilet in her in-laws’ house, in the latest incident highlighting how the growing consciousness for washrooms is slowly splitting families apart in the eastern Indian state.

Vineeta Kumari, a resident of Baikathpur village (Khagaria district), was married to Lalu Shah, of Ashatol village (Bhagalpur district), three years ago.

After getting to her in-laws’ home after the wedding, Kumari, shocked at the lack of toilet facilities, requested her husband for one.

She kept requesting for the toilet for two years but realising her appeal was falling on deaf ears, she finally decided to divorce her husband. She then left her in-law’s house and returned to her maternal home.

“Due to lack of toilets at home, I had to wait for darkness to fall every day to move out of home and attend [to] nature’s call. I kept on insisting for it for two longs but my in-laws didn’t take my request seriously. Eventually, I decided to desert my husband,” the woman told the Gulf News over phone.

The woman said she often had the lurking fear of being molested or sexually assaulted when defecating out in the open. “Also, I didn’t have proper bath at home owing to lack of washrooms all through the period at stayed at my in-laws’s home. I had no option other than deserting my in-laws’ home,” she explained.

She said her in-laws often spoke about financial barriers to toilet construction.

“But I was surprised to find that every member in the in-laws family was using separate cell phones while they claimed they had not enough money to construct a toilet,” she asserted.

In September, a woman from Muzaffarpur district in Bihar had registered a case against her in-laws after finding a toilet missing in her new home. She withdrew the case only after they signed a written agreement saying they would build one soon.

The problem of sanitation is quite alarming in Bihar and as per an official reports, 14 million households don’t have toilets.

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