33In Achampatti Village Panchayat of Madurai district, TamilNadu, there lives an elderly couple named Shri ALAGU and Smt AGAMMAL. They have lived all their life in a kuccha house, no toilet, and defecating in the nearby agriculture fields. When the campaign to make their beloved village Achampatti Open Defecation Free, started under Swaccha Bharat Mission (Gramin), they were the first ones to construct the concrete toilet in their house by demolishing a portion of veranda. Shri ALAGU was an eye opener for the entire community and the village. He said “It is my luck that I am able to rectify the mistake and the sin of Open defecation committed by me, in this lifetime only. If you all in the village also determine to make our village clean by not defecating on the roadsides, you also can avoid being a sinner by contributing to various ills of open defecation!”

This had a lasting impact on the minds of people when Shri ALAGU and Smt ANGAMMAL (despite age related health problems) started helping the mason in the actual construction of toilet. They used to pour water for curing purpose daily. This site inspired many people to build the toilets and shun Open Defecation.  People started thanking this Harbinger of cleanliness when they started feeling the impact of cleanliness on the roadsides and tank bunds, where people were not even able to walk earlier. The powerful image of this inspiring couple has been an important tool which brought ODF status to 35 more ODF villages, in the district