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Ministers, Religious Leaders Pledge To Change People’s Mindset On Sanitation

To achieve the ambitious goal by 2019 of the Clean India campaign the government needs to scale up the efforts.

In This Village Of Madhya Pradesh, The Panchayat Has Fined A Family Rs 75,000 For Defecating In The Open

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan has said the Narendra Modi government is committed to making the country clean and there has been a “satisfactory” progress in the Clean India campaign but there is a need to scale up efforts to achieve the ambitious goal by 2019.

Read: PM Modi Hails Initiatives Under Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan

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There is a need to change people’s mindset. The cleanliness campaign is a social movement and there has been a satisfactory progress in it in the last two years. But efforts have to be scaled up to meet the target by October 2, 2019 and the process is underway. – Harsh Vardhan

[highlight] The pledge, was taken under the initiative called Water and Sanitation Campaign (WASH) launched by the UNICEF [/highlight] , calls upon the religious leaders to comprehensively take part in convincing the public to prioritise proper sanitation and hygiene practices.
According to the official data, [highlight] 42.6 per cent of the households in Jammu and Kashmir practice open defecation and just 33.9 per cent of the households have improved sanitation facilities [/highlight] .

Only [highlight] 9.47 per cent of people have access to tap water [/highlight] from a treated source in the Ladakh region and 81 per cent of the households have no drainage connectivity for waste water outlet.

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The Modi government is committed to making India clean and step are being taken in that direction. The Prime Minister has himself said it is shameful that women have to defecate in the open and wait for darkness to settle in before they can go out to relieve themselves. – Harsh Vardhan

In the last two years, a record more than two crore toilets have been built under the Clean India campaign. The Prime Minister himself monitors the situation in meetings on Wednesdays. About 4.25 lakh toilets have been constructed exclusively for girls in around 2.75 lakh schools. –  Harsh Vardhan

The minister said the campaign is not only limited to constructing toilets.

We are using science and technology to support it. We are exploring ways to develop techniques for solid, electronic and bio-waste management. – Harsh Vardhan

Read: Experts: Use Technology To Make Swachh Bharat Mission A Success

“The Indian Institute of Petroleum is finding ways to use plastic waste for producing biofuels like petrol and diesel. Similarly, the National Physical Laboratory, Delhi, is coming up with ideas to turn plastic waste into low-cost and lightweight toilets. We are using science to convert waste into wealth,” Harsh Vardhan said.

On the need of using religion as a platform to disseminate the message of adopting healthy sanitation practices, he said:

“When I was the Delhi Heath Minister in 1993, for nine months on the trot, about 550 gurudwaras, 3,000 mosques and every church in the city broadcast a message, exhorting mothers to take their children to polio vaccination booths. Similarly, GIWA can be instrumental and become a mass movement.”

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According to Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar, “People do not really follow when politicians and the administration give a call for adopting healthy sanitation practices. Faith leaders can touch people’s lives in a way that governments cannot. They can influence behavior in both temples and toilets.”


He said 18 districts and 70,000 villages in the country have been declared open defecation-free (ODF) and hoped that with the efforts of all, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh regions will soon become ODF.

Read: 10 Iconic Places To Be Cleaned Under Swachh Bharat Mission

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