While addressing the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the sanitation coverage in rural areas has increased rapidly after his government came to power in 2014.
He also added that until now as many as 25 states of the country have declared themselves open defecation free (ODF).
"The result of this "Janbhavna" is that the radius of rural sanitation before 2014 was approximately 38 per cent but today it is 94 per cent. The number of ODF villages has surpassed five lakhs. Twenty-five states of India have declared themselves free from open defecation," he said.
The event was organised by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to mark the beginning of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi.
Elaborating further on the issue, the Prime Minister said, "Four years ago, 60 per cent of the global population defecating in open was in India, it has been reduced to 20 per cent today. In these four years, not just toilets were built or villages and cities have become ODF but regular use of toilets is also more than 90 per cent."
"Today I accept in front of you that if I did not understand Gandhi and his views so deeply, the sanitation campaign would never have been in the priority list of our government. I got inspired from Bapu, which in turn helped me in making Swachh Bharat Abhiyan a reality," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that with rich philosophies, ancient inspiration, modern technology and effective programmes, India is moving fast towards achieving sustainable development goals."
"Our government is equally stressing on nutrition as well as on sanitation," he added.
In his concluding remark, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "four Ps namely political Leadership, Public funding, Partnerships and People's participation are necessary to make the world clean".