Modi govt to states: Call toilets 'Izzat Ghar' to instil pride in families

PM Narendra Modi
Toilets that are constructed under the Swachh Bharat Mission will now be called 'Izzat Ghar', or something equivalent in a local language that means house of dignity. This novel nomenclature is the brainchild of the Uttar Pradesh government.

'Izzat Ghar' will protect dignity of the house

Many homes in India resist the idea of building toilets indoors as they believe that defecating where they pray or cook is unholy.

Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauded Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for naming toilets as 'Izzat Ghar', saying that if a house will have 'Izzat Ghar', it would upkeep the dignity of the house.

"When I was laying the foundation stone of toilets at a village, I saw 'Izzat Ghar' written on them. I was happy to see the name. I congratulate the state government for coining this name," Modi had said at the time in Varanasi.

Following the prime ministers' acknowledgement, Centre wrote to all states on October 16 in this regard, advising Hindi-speaking states to call a toilet an 'Izzat Ghar' while urging other states to come up with other terms in the regional languages with the same meaning.

According to Times Of India, an advisory issued by the government stated, "It has come to the notice of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation that toilets in many parts of Uttar Pradesh are being named 'Izzat Ghar'. This is a good practice that instils a sense of dignity and pride in the entire family for their toilet, and will also have a positive impact on usage... it is recommended that this practice could be considered for replication in other parts of India."

UP's Swachh Mission success

Earlier this month, the Uttar Pradesh government said it had elbowed out other states in the construction of toilets, with over 3.52 lakh units being built over 17 days under the Centre's Swachhta hi Seva campaign.

The toilets were constructed between September 15 and October 2, an official statement said.

UP was followed by Rajasthan, which constructed 2,54,953 toilets, and Karnataka, which got 2,41,708 toilets built in the same period, it said.

As many as 18,24,549 toilets were constructed across states, the statement issued by the office of chief secretary Rajive Kumar said.

Swachh Bharat Mission goal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi set his government the goal of making the country open defecation-free in five years, by the 150th anniversary of M.K. Gandhi’s birthday in 2019, by launching the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) in 2014.

The effort follows the Supreme Court of India, which recognised sanitation as a fundamental right in the 1990s, and the UN General Assembly, following suit recently in recognising sanitation as a distinct human right.

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