‘Rural India to banish open defecation in 10 yrs’
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Last Updated: Sunday, April 08, 2012, 18:33
  
Mumbai: Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said that the rural areas of the country would be free of open defecation within a decade.

"All the 2,65,000 gram panchayats in the country will be open defecation-free in ten years," Ramesh said, speaking at a seminar here.

He agreed that Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan should be considered more than just a toilet-building programme. "It highlights the concerns about privacy, security and dignity of women," he said, and assured that the campaign would be revamped.

In the past, toilet-building programmes of governments were half-hearted endeavours, with the exception of Maharashtra where a third of the gram panchayats are "open defecation free", Ramesh said.

But now even a state such as Haryana, considered to be having "a patriarchal" society, had taken up the challenge in a big way with the slogan "sauchalaya nahi to dulhan nahi" (no bride if there is no toilet), he said.

Quoting 2011 census data, the Minister said 60 per cent of village households still do not have access to proper toilet facilities. He praised the success of Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh on this front, apart from that of Maharashtra.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, April 08, 2012, 18:33


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