Shocked by the Badaun gang-rape and murder case, Sulabh International, which works in the field of sanitation, has decided to construct toilets in all households at Katra Sadatganj village where the horrific crime took place.

Founder of the non-governmental organisation Bindeshwar Pathak decided to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to begin a campaign to build toilets in each household across India and end the problem of open defecation.

“By providing toilet facility in the village, we want to exhort the government and corporate houses to come forward and participate in providing toilet facilities to poor people in villages and towns across India. Lack of toilet facility was the main reason for the rape and murder of the two girls ... By adopting this village, we are just setting an example,” Dr. Pathak told The Hindu.

“We will make all efforts to ensure proper toilet facilities in as many poor households as possible. I urge the corporate sector to donate freely to ensure that no house in India remains without a toilet ... Each corporate house and big company should adopt one village for this purpose. It will not only address this social evil but will also help in tackling several diseases that happen due to open defecation.”

Dr. Pathak said it was the duty of the government to provide toilet facilities, which would also help check crimes. “Any woman defecating in the open is vulnerable and the government must acknowledge this,” he noted.

Welcoming Sulabh International’s initiative, former Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said the Centre as well as all State governments need to work collectively on the issue of sanitation and women safety. “It is clear from what has been seen in Bihar and now Badaun that open defecation is not just an assault on the dignity but also on security of women,” he told The Hindu.

Referring to Mr. Modi’s slogan “Toilet first, temple later,” he said, “Building toilet at every household will herald an effective social change in society ... I will urge the Prime Minister to make it his government’s top priority.”

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