Horrible underfunding to be blamed for poor sanitation
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Last Updated: Thursday, October 13, 2011, 16:58
New Delhi: Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday blamed "horrible underfunding" for the abject state of water supply and sanitation in India and termed it as a "matter of shame".

"If you look at all the states, and the Centre... we are horribly underfunding both water supply and sanitation. And it is a matter of shame," the Rural Development Minister said agreeing with the findings of a new World Bank report on Gender Equality and Development released here.

He said the country accounts for 58 per cent of open defecation in the world.

"If there is one issue that I would like to focus on which will have a huge impact on women's status on women's indicators.. It is water supply and sanitation," Ramesh said after releasing the report.

Citing that women have a major role in the country's successful three-tier panchayati raj systems, the Minister said that women in India are adequately represented in domestic policy making.

"Roughly now... 1.5 million women elected representatives...Almost 45 per cent of all elected representatives in rural India are women. Women's election is an increasing phenomenon, women are re-elected," Ramesh said.

He said the growth of re-election of large constituency of women representatives in rural India is a "great success story".

"...1.5 million (elected women representatives) really is the largest in the world is a major development," the Minister said questioning the report that claims that institutions and policies in India are not adequately represented.


First Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 23:53

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