Two years after Saraswathi Balasubramaniyam, obtained a loan to fund the construction of a toilet in her home, I had the opportunity to catch up with her in her home in Velakanatham. Velakanatham is a village located about 9km from the town of Musiri, or about 44km from the larger city of Trichy.
Saraswathi had constructed the toilet adjoining her home; after two years of use, it remained in a well maintained condition. “I wanted our family to have a better standard of living, so I decided to build a toilet for all of us,” she said of her family’s desire to have a toilet. Saraswathi and her husband have three sons, two of whom are attending college while the eldest is employed as an auto driver. Prior to building the toilet, the family used the nearby fields to defecate and relieve themselves. “Not having a toilet affected me the most, as I could only go out to the fields when it turned dark. I’m glad that those times are just a memory today,” she said of her relief at having the convenience of a toilet that she can use any time of the day. The addition of the toilet has also led her neighours to witness the benefits of access to sanitation.
Saraswathi thanked both Milaap and Guardian (Milaap's field partner) for the microloan that funded the construction of her toilet. Saraswathi informed me that she remained committed to spreading the message of hygienic sanitation practice in her village.