It was for her own pregnant daughter-in-law that she had got a toilet built but the step taken by an ASHA worker has encouraged the Kalaburagi zilla panchayat to organise a baby shower post-delivery if a family builds toilets for their expecting daughters or daughters-in-law.

The programme named ‘Koosu’ will lay stress on the health and hygiene of pregnant women. In coordination with the health department, steps will be taken to ensure institutional deliveries and follow up the delivery with women and child welfare department.

Zilla CEO Hephsiba R Korlapati, who is the brainchild behind the initiative, said that they had been planning to roll out a similar programme earlier too but after the ASHA worker’s initiative, it speeded up. ASHA worker Indira Bhai of Gundagurthi village built a toilet for her pregnant daughter Bhagyashree in just two days.

Elated with the launch of the project, Korlapati also said that the panchayat will organise more such programmes if toilets for pregnant women are built in their houses.

These toilets will also have pictures focussing on the importance breast feeding. The women will also be given lessons on the importance of food and nutrition and how to take care of the women post delivery.

After the official announcement of the scheme, gram panchayat officials will visit houses of pregnant women to check if they have toilets. The CEO claimed that in the absence of toilets, women are more likely to reduce food and water intake during pregnancy which leads to malnutrition.