Sell your wife if you do not have enough money to build a toilet at home, Aurangabad district magistrate Kanwal Tanuj reportedly told villagers during an awareness drive to promote the Swachh Bharat campaign in Bihar.
Tanuj had visited the villages in the Aurangabad district and also met the locals there to spread awareness about the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, building toilets in homes and why open defecation was bad for citizens, India Today reported.
However, he triggered a controversy when he told the villagers that they should sell their wives if they don’t have enough money to build a toilet at their homes. While addressing a gathering at one of the villages, Tanuj tried to link toilets with the dignity of women.
“Save the dignity of your women if you can. How poor are you? Raise your hands and tell me if the value of your wife is lower than Rs 12,000… Which man would say take the dignity of my wife and give me Rs 12,000? Is there anyone like that?” the district magistrate said.
A villager from the audience responded to Tanuj’s questions and said that he did not have enough money to build a toilet at home.
The district magistrate responded by saying, “I will talk to you. If that is the case then go and sell your wife. If this is the mentality you have then go and sell your wife. So many people talk about advance payment, they get advance and then spend it on useless things.”
In September last year, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had launched a couple of schemes — Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal and Shauchalay Nirman, Ghar Ka Sammaan — as part of the state government’s Saat Nishchay or Seven Resolves. The schemes, which would cover all towns and villages in Bihar by the end of 2019, were part of the Swachh Bharat campaign.
Under the Shauchalay Nirman, Ghar Ka Sammaan scheme, the state government provides an aid of Rs 12,000 to a beneficiary to build toilets at home in an attempt to end open defecation. Tanuj was addressing the villagers about the same scheme when he made the statement.