Women key to success of sanitation movement: Prez

President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday observed that sanitation has a bearing on security and dignity of women.

Updated: Mar 21, 2012, 15:48 PM IST

New Delhi: Observing that sanitation has a
bearing on security and dignity of women, President Pratibha
Patil on Wednesday said that their involvement in the campaign to
eradicate open defecation can make the movement successful in
villages across the country.

"It is well established that sanitation has a bearing on
dignity, health and security of women. They benefit most and,
therefore, can be the prime movers of sanitation movement
throughout the country. Their involvement has resulted in
many achievements and will take the sanitation drive to its
full success," the President said here.

Speaking after distributing Nirmal Gram Puraskar, Patil
said a woman`s role is a multi-dimensional one, ranging from
being a homemaker, to a pillar of stability in society, and
with great potential to contribute to the economic welfare of
the nation.

"Her role in changing the face of rural India can be
immense," she said.

Praising Anita Bai Narre from Madhya Pradesh and Usha
Chaumar from Rajasthan who fought to end the practice of open
defecation, the President said they have displayed exemplery
courage to end the practice and their actions will definitely
initiate a strong movement in rural areas on this issue.

"I am sure that others will get encouraged to do what
they did," the President said.

Narre of Jheetudhana Village in Betul District shot to
fame after she refused to stay at her in-laws` house after her
marriage due to lack of a proper toilet facilities.

Chaumar, hailing from Alwar and victim of child marriage,
worked as a scavenger before being rehabilitated and trained
by NGO Sulabh International.

Both Narre and and Chaumar were honoured in the function
organised by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.