Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his 38th Mann Ki Baat speech spoke of Tushar, an eight-year-old divyang boy who took the responsibility to make his village open-defecation free. Kumhari village in Madhya Pradesh can be described as the quintessential rural India. The major profession of the people in the village is farming and occasional labour work. The farmers have seen open-defecation since their childhood and have passed on the ritual from generations. This eight-year-old boy who has lost the ability to speak took up the responsibility to educate his neighbours and began a campaign to end it. Despite his speech and hearing impairment since birth, Tushar started getting up 5 am in the morning every day and made whistle his weapon. He used to visit every household in the morning waking people up with his whistle and via hand gestures would try to convince people against defecating in the open.
Tushar would visit 30-40 houses on a daily basis and would not stop whistling if he spotted a person open-defecating till that person has stopped doing that. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed this boy’s courage and integrity to try to fulfil his resolve of making Kumhari village an open-defecation free village. The PM said Tushar’s actions made a positive impact on the villagers making it possible for the village to be an open-defecation free village.
At times, Tushar would be accompanied by Swachh Preraks positioned in that village to various houses and they would also keep educating and updating Tushar on the objective of the mission. 86 per cent rural areas constitute Kumhari village, wherein most of the villagers are unaware of using toilets or covered areas for defecation. So, they started taking Tushar and Swacch Preraks into confidence and now the number of toilets in the village has increased exponentially since 2016.
The district administration joined Tushar in the revolution to take forward the Swachh Bharat campaign that became a huge success. The village was announced open-defecation free on January 26, 2017.