- On March 14, Nisha went on a hunger strike to get a toilet at home
- Inspired by her, 35 students staged similar protest against open defecation
- The local administration initiated construction of over 500 toilets.
“Be the change you want to see in the world,” said Mahatma Gandhi, the man who valued cleanliness and hygiene above everything else. Translating his thought into reality, Nisha Kumari, a class 10 student from Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur district sat on a hunger strike to get a toilet at home in Kud Basti village. She did this after learning about the health risks of open defecation in a swachhta class. Turning Nisha’s initiative into a mass movement, 35 more students from a Higher Secondary School in Kud staged protests in their respective houses demanding construction of toilets.
On returning from school on March 14, Nisha sat on a hunger strike after her parents did not comply with her demand and instead asked her to continue the practice of open defecation just like her family has for years. Resilient on her demand for a toilet, the 14-year-old did not eat anything for 48 hours. The news of her hunger strike spread like wild fire and within two days her family was granted approval for construction of an Individual Household Latrine at Nisha’s house under Swachh Bharat Mission.