Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari has written to parliamentarians requesting them to allocate funds from their MPLADS for construction of toilets in village homes, schools and anganwadis. His letter to the MPs comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the parliamentarians to use MPLADS funds in building toilets to end the menace of open defecation in the country by 2019, the 150 birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
"... To improve the sanitation facilities in your constituency, you are requested to recommend the allocation of funds from your MPLADS, for construction of individual household latrines...schools and anganwadi toilets, community sanitary complexes (public toilets and bathrooms) and for solid liquid waste management projects...," Gadkari said in his letter. He said this will help achieve the vision of Nirmal Bharat by 2019 with all gram panchayats in the country attaining Nirmal status and "eliminating the scourge of open defecation and squalor in our villages".
The minister said that the status of sanitation in rural areas is not adequate at present as "about 60 per cent our rural population" defecate in the open. "This leads to health problems in the population and also especially affects women and children in terms of their safety, security and dignity," Gadkari said in the letter. In his Independence Day speech, Modi, while stressing on "dignity of women" had urged parliamentarians and the corporate sector to help build separate toilets for girls in schools across the country by next year.
The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, headed by Gadkari, administers the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan with the objective to accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas to achieve the Nirmal Bharat by 2019. Construction of individual household latrines, school and anganwadi toilets, community sanitary complexes and solid liquid waste management are important components of the programme.