Ranchi/Jamshedpur, April 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appealed to women representatives in panchayats in the country to make efforts to construct toilets in every house so that not a single female goes to open fields for defecation.
"There are 30,00,000 panchayat representatives in the country and 40 percent are women. I appeal to women panchayat representatives to take initiatives to end open defecation and ensure that not a single woman of their village goes to open fields for defecation," Modi said at an event for the 'Gramoday Se Bharat Uday' campaign and Panchayati Raj Diwas in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, on Sunday.
"I appeal to them to pledge to construct toilet in every house," he said.
Modi also appealed to the women representatives to supervise the mid-day meal scheme so that children do not remain malnourished.
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He asked them to create awareness regarding delivery in hospitals so that pregnant woman don't die.
Modi said his government has taken steps to shift launches or celebrations of government schemes outside Delhi.
"My government has tried to break the myth. Delhi is not the country, the country is big."
"The Panchayati Raj Diwas used to be celebrated in Delhi and this year we decided to organise it in Jamshedpur."
"We launched the 'Gramoday Se Bharat Uday' programme on the 125th anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar in Madhya Pradesh on April 14. We launched the 'Beti bachao, Beti Padhao' scheme in Haryana where the sex ratio is poor."
"My government aims to reduce the gap between rural and urban by ensuring roads, electricity and other facilities in rural areas. The budget of the government indicates it's a rural budget," he said.
The prime minister stressed that the panchayats and gram sabhas should be strengthened, and expressed concern over poor presence in gram Sabha meetings.
He appealed to the panchayat representatives to take initiatives to bring about changes in the lives of people in villages.
He also appealed to them to select one scheme in a year and work on it.
"There is no dearth of fund or schemes for development of rural India and the panchayat representatives should take initiatives to ensure that the schemes are being implemented properly," said Modi.
He said the focus of the panchayat representatives should not be road construction and budget, but development of villages.
In the next three years, Modi promised, five crore families will be given cooking gas cylinder connection so that women do not inhale smoke from burning wood while cooking food.
"If villages prosper, then only the country will prosper," he said.