With an aim to construct 1.21 crore toilets by 2019, Bihar govt has decided to give out loans to help people construct toilets
Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh Sanitation & Social Reform Movement, has long said that if people get a loan from the banks for making toilets, it will be a helpful step in furthering the cleanliness drive. He not only wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about this, but also talked to him one-on-one when he met him. It is heartening to note that Dr Pathak’s opinion is now getting recognition at the government level.
Furthering the efforts of Dr Pathak, and in a bid to implement the ambitious ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Government of Bihar has taken a lot of important decisions. Earlier, the Nitish Kumar government had decided to give 12 thousand rupees per family as a loan. This loan was to be given under the government’s “seven decision-making schemes”. The Bihar Government has decided to construct 1.21 crore toilets by 2019. The instructions for lending loans by the banks were taken at a meeting of the committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi in the second week of November. The Bihar government is already serious about the construction of toilets and many decisions and instructions have been issued for this.
In the second week of November, it was decided in a meeting of top banks, headed by the Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Sushil Modi, that Rural Banks will now give loans for the construction of toilets. In the departmental office at Patna’s old Secretariat, Bank officials were instructed to lend loan to the people for the construction of toilets. He told the officials that employed teachers should also get loans according to their needs. There are 698 branch offices in 11 districts of Central Vihar Gramin Bank, from which 86,000 groups of livelihood are connected. There are 15 members in a group, thus linking this to about 13 lakh living members. The banks will lend 12 thousand rupees per family to make the toilets and after receiving the beneficial family incentives, it will repay the loan to the bank. So far, 11 hundred toilets have been constructed by the bank from loans. He also said that the employed teachers would be able to serve till 60 years of their age. In such a way, by linking their salary accounts, the bank should provide them loans according to their needs. In the meeting, all the top officials of the department were present, including Nasim Ahmad, President of Central Vihar Gramin Bank, Regional Manager Ratnesh Ranjan and others.
Earlier, in the year 2014, the Bihar government had decided to construct 1.21 crore toilets by 2019 to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. On Gandhi’s 150th anniversary, the government had described this kind of determination as a tribute. Earlier, the government had decided to built 40 lakh toilets from various schemes of the central and state government. Then, Divisional Minister Maha Chandra Prasad Singh had given this information in the Bihar Legislative Assembly that the Bihar Government is determined to get rid of the open defecation problem and it is being very focused in every way. In the year 2016, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said on the occasion of the launch of the seven decision-making schemes that the Bihar government has decided to give 12 thousand rupees per household toilets for construction. This seven determination plan carried the slogan ‘Water in every house tap’ and ‘Respect for the toilet constructing house’. The schemes will be applicable in every city and village of the state.
The Government’s schemes to get rid of open defecation in the state is finding support not only in non-governmental organizations is but also women’s Self Help Groups. Ujjwal Gram organization, Jahannabad has also been campaigning to get rid of open defecation under the social change program. Two women named Poonam Devi and Nagina Devi, have made hundreds of homes free from open defecation, setting the new example in this matter.
These two women were involved in the construction of toilets campaign and several non-governmental organizations too were involved in it, thus getting many congratulations in the area. Now after the latest directive by the Deputy Chief Minister
Sushil Modi, it is expected that people will begin the construction of toilets in their homes by taking loans from the rural banks and realize the dreamsof Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the resolution of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
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