Life is much healthier now for Meena Lakshmanan and her family | Milaap
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Life is much healthier now for Meena Lakshmanan and her family

Written by Poornima Rajeshwar Publish date 21-Jan-2015
Meena Lakshmanan
Meena Lakshmanan

I went to a village near Musiri, some forty-five kilometers away from Tiruchirappalli. Since Susila, the leader of the Joint Liability Group (JLG) was unavailable, I met Meena Lakshmanan, a member of the JLG. She had just finished with the household chores and looked quite exhausted, but she was still excited about talking to me for a few minutes. We sat outside her house, while her three-year old son played with a pile of sand in front of us. She is a housewife with two children. Her baby girl goes to the local Government School. Her husband is a daily-wage laborer. The monthly household income is close to Rs.5,000. She told me that even though they don't save much in a month, they still manage to make the monthly payments towards the reimbursement of the loan amount. It's been a year since she took the loan from Guardian, Milaap's partner, for the purpose of constructing a toilet in her house. She makes a monthly installment of Rs.650 every month. Before starting to use the toilet, that they just finished building, they'd been going to the closest fields, some half a kilometer away, to relieve themselves. Multiple trips in a day made life much harder for them. Meena and her daughter couldn't make frequent trips at night as it wasn't safe for them to travel to open fields at that hour. Monsoons also made the use of fields to relieve themselves very unhygienic. When she heard of Guardian and that they give loans to set up sanitation facilities at home, she contacted them and availed the loan. Now that they have a toilet of their own, the entire family enjoys a greater sense of privacy and cleanliness. Cases of dysentery and diarrhea in her house, caused due to the perils of open-defecation, has also come down drastically. Life is much healthier now for Meena Lakshmanan and her family. 

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