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Narendra Modi says 'Swachh Bharat' initiative played key role in doubling sanitation coverage in India

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the sanitation coverage in the country has increased from 38 percent to nearly 80 percent and asserted that the 'Swachh Bharat Mission' is playing a central role in creating a healthy India.

File image. PTI

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

Interacting with the beneficiaries of the 'Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana' (PMBJP) and affordable cardiac stents and knee implants through video bridge, the prime minister said that more than 3.5 lakh villages in the country have declared themselves open defecation free.

"Cleanliness is considered to be the first necessity for a healthy life. We initiated the campaign to construct toilets at home. This campaign for cleanliness is being taken forward successfully by 125 crore people of the country.

"Look at its results. Sanitation coverage has gone up from 38 percent to around 80 percent. So if it was 40 percent it has (it means) doubled. More than 3.5 lakh villages have declared themselves open defecation free in India," he said. "The scheme is playing a central role in creating a healthy India," Modi said.

Referring to a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) study, he said that those villages which are open defecation free, Rs 50,000 which would have otherwise been used for other works, is being saved on an average per family. Otherwise the same amount would have gone into treatment of various diseases and commuting to and fro to the hospital, among others.

Interacting with the prime minister, the beneficiaries explained how the 'Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana' brought down the cost of the medicines and made it affordable. The beneficiaries also talked about how reduced prices of heart stent and knee transplants have changed their life.

Updated Date: Jun 07, 2018 18:04 PM

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