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India will be an open defecation free nation in 10 years, says Ramesh

New Delhi, Wed, 21 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 21 (ANI): Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has called for making India an open defecation free country in ten years time.

 

Addressing a gathering here today on the occasion of Nirmal Gram Puruskar, 2011, he said, there are two lakh fifty thousand gram panchayats in the country out of which only 25,000 are open defecation free, which is roughly about 10 percent of the existing panchayats.

 

He said in the next ten years all should work in a mission mode to achieve the target of making all the village panchayats a nirmal one.

 

"Nirmal Gram is not only about the construction of toilets, but it is intrinsically linked with the security and pride of the women folk," said Ramesh.

 

He said, though the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is a new one, but the challenges on sanitation front is very old.

 

Lamenting over the fact that 60 percent of the world's open defecation happen in India, Ramesh admitted that the government alone cannot achieve success and there is a need for a social revolution to remove this blot from the society.

 

He informed that the total sanitation campaign will be completely overhauled and a new national policy will be launched by next month, where the focus will be to move away from individual toilet construction to community based projects through the Gram Panchayats.

 

Ramesh also informed to institute a new award from the next year in the honour of the great social reformer Sant Gadge Baba, who had played a pioneering role in the field of sanitation. (ANI)

 


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