`8 lakh volunteers to create sanitation awareness`

Updated: Feb 21, 2012, 23:45 PM IST

New Delhi: Nearly 800,000 health volunteers will be roped in to create awareness about sanitation issues in rural areas, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said here Tuesday.

The minister also said the eight lakh ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) will be given appropriate incentives for the work.

"Nearly eight lakh ASHA workers working in the health sector will be roped in for creating awareness about sanitation issues in rural areas and appropriate incentives will be given to them," he said at the second meeting of national drinking water and sanitation council meet.

ASHAs are local women who are trained to act as health educators. They are also entrusted from time to time to create awareness on other social issues too.

The minister said that health, sanitation and water supply should not be treated as separate issues, as they impact on each other and should be seen in a holistic framework.

"I am hopeful of 40 to 60 percent increase in the budgetary allocation for drinking water and sanitation, which stands at Rs.10,000 crore at present," he said.