Entire Bihar should be declared ODF before March 22, 2019: Sushil Modi
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi Monday said that entire Bihar should be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) before state's foundation day on March 22 next year. The target has been set to declare the entire country ODF by October 2, 2019.
The entire Bihar should be declared ODF before 'Bihar Diwas' i.e. March 22, 2019. Eleven districts of the state have already been declared as ODF, Modi said while addressing a function on World Toilet Day here in the state capital. Giving the slogan "Sonch badaliye, Shauchalay chaliye", Modi appealed to people to change their mindset vis-a-vis using the toilet.
Only 22 per cent households had toilets in 2014 which has increased to 82.40 per cent in past four years, he said adding that more than 86 lakh toilets have been built in 82.40 per cent of households in four years. Bihar is the first state in the country which is giving Rs 12,000 from its state budget to APL (Above Poverty Line) families for constructing toilets, Modi said. As per World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate, around three lakh children would be saved from diarrhoea if the entire country is made ODF, he added.
Modi, who is also state's finance minister, remembered Mahatma Gandhi who gave slogan for cleanliness and sanitation 100 years ago and had said that the issue of cleanliness and sanitation was much more important than the political freedom for him. Veteran socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia had asked the then PM Jawaharlal Nehru in 1953 that he (Lohia) would stop opposing him (Nehru) if he (Nehru) would construct toilets in all the towns and villages, Modi said.
(With inputs from agencies.)