"About 45 lakh children belonging to poor families are studying at about 50,000 anganwadis where facilities like clean toilets, power supply, pure drinking water etc. are being provided. Though these children come from poor families, they deserve better amenities," Patel said at a function organised by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation.
She inaugurated a host of development works totalling Rs 766 crore, which include a dedicated stadium for indoor sports, two over-bridges and 45 anganwadis--all located in the city, besides launching other development works.
"The task of providing these amenities can be achieved across the State if a citizen or a non-government organisation donates a sum of Rs 5.50 lakh for those anganwadis that lack such amenities," she said, adding that the state government has considerably hiked the honorarium being paid to anganwadi workers.
These children come from poor families, they deserve better amenities: Patel
The Chief Minister made a strong pitch for launching of the "total sanitation campaign programme' which envisages construction of a toilet in each and every household in villages, towns and slum areas.
"It is shameful that women have to wait till night to relieve themselves in open. Shouldn't this warrant the concern of any individual who truly cares for Gujarat and its citizens?. What does it say for us of a society; if we hold a mirror it shows us the ugly truth.
And as it is in all cases, the record of Gujarat and the then Chief Minister and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi is stellar in the field of sanitation," Patel said.
Citing the 2011 Census, Patel stated that 57.4 per cent households in Gujarat have toilets within their premises.
"This figure is 53.1 per cent in Maharashtra, 49.6 per cent in Andhra Pradesh, 48.3 per cent in Tamil Nadu, 35 per cent in Rajasthan, 23.1 per cent in Bihar and 22 per cent in Odisha whereas the national average stood at 46.9 per cent."