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Why PM Modi bowed his head before this 104-year-old woman

Source: PTI
February 21, 2016 18:06 IST
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A 104-year-old woman from a village in Chhattisgarh’s Dhamtari district who sold her goats for constructing toilet at her home, on Sunday came in for special praise by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said it is a big sign of changing India.

PM Modi lauds Kunwar Bai from Kotabharri village of Dhamtari in Chahattisgarh after she sold her goats to build a toilet. Photograph: PTI

Modi felicitated Kunwar Bai from Kotabharri village of Dhamtari for her efforts to make her village open defecation free, during the launch of ‘Rurban Mission’ at Kurrubhat village in the state’s Naxal-hit Rajandgaon district.

Two development blocks -- Ambagarh Chowki and Chhuriya -- of Rajnandgaon were also declared open defecation free by the PM during the programme.

“An elderly woman of 104 years who stays in a remote village, does not watch TV or read papers, but the message of building toilets under clean India mission somehow reached her. She sold off her goats to build toilet at home and also encouraged others from the village to build,” Modi said.

Kunwar Bai had sold-off her 8-10 goats to build two toilets at her home.

Subsequently, she started showing other villagers the toilets at her home while informing them about its importance. Now every home in the village has toilets.

Calling it as a major change taking place at the roots of the country, Modi said, “The country is changing. It seems when a woman at a remote village makes efforts to fulfil dream of clean India mission, she is an inspiration for everyone, especially youths.”

“I would like to tell media that you don’t cover me but spread the story of this woman all over the country,” the PM urged.

Modi also praised the residents of two Ambagarh Chowki and Chhuriya blocks for being open defecation free with toilets at all homes.

“Even a prime minister has to think before enforcing taxes (on public), but people in these blocks without hesitation decided to slap fine on those who defecated in open which is a good initiative for the welfare of society,” he said.

“Making an area open defecation free is a biggest advantage and respect to our mother and sisters who have to go down to fields and forests (to relieve themselves). I bow my head in respect to them,” Modi said.

“We would make sure that each and every home of the country should have toilets by October 2019 under ‘Clean India Mission’,” he added.

Modi also felicitated Phoolbasan Bai Yadav, a social worker for her efforts towards development of economically and socially backward women in the state. She was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2012 for her work.

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