The state government will strive to ensure that every household in the state has a toilet within the next two years to improve sanitation facilities and also burnish credentials of Gujarat as a developed state, Chief Minister Anandi Patel said on Sunday.
Addressing visitors at the annual religious fair at Parab Dham, a Hindu pilgrim spot in Junagadh, Patel said that women in rural areas had to wait till nightfall to answer nature’s call. Even at night, they have to relieve themselves by the roadside and vehicles passing on the road cause much inconvenience and embarrassment.
“We can’t claim to be a developed state unless each household at least has a latrine. The government would try to ensure that each household has its own latrine within the next two years,” she said that she was a woman first and then a chief minister and could relate to the inconvenience faced by women. The CM further said that having a latrine in each household will improve sanitation facilities to a great extent, especially in rural areas, and would result in better health of citizens.
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Patel appealed to religious and spiritual leaders across the state to help the government in raising public awareness of the importance of sanitation and fighting malnutrition among women and children. She claimed her initiative of accepting fruits from her well-wishers as greetings at public events had received good response. The CM donates such fruits to local anganwadis to add nutritional value of food being served to children there. During his days as the CM, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had advocated according priority to toilets over temples.