Vidya Balan, Shatrughan Sinha & Jairam Ramesh at campaigning against open defecation programme

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh with actors Vidya Balan and Shatrughan Sinha during a programme in Patna on Aug 24, 2015. Actress Vidya Balan, the hygiene ambassador of the country, exhorted people to take a pledge to do everything to construct toilets at home. Balan, who has been campaigning against open defecation, said she feels encouraged when reports come about girls refusing to marry in homes with no toilets.

Praising Bihar for speedy progress on the front over the last four years, Ramesh said at this rate the state can hope to tackle the problem by 2022 or 2023. Speaking at a programme on “Changing behaviour, creating sanitation by changing leaders”, he advocated for involving panchayat representatives and women organisations for this purpose.

Actor-turned-BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha said it was worrisome that talks were needed about hygiene and toilets even after 68 years of Independence.

“I am astonished to know that 68 per cent families in Bihar have no toilets. We need to discuss these things openly and act on it,” Sinha said.

Pehel Chief Executive Officer Anand Madhav said the organisation will construct community toilets in 200 villages of Bhagalpur district.

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