KURRUBHAT, (RAJNANDGAON, CHHATTISGARH): Declaring two development blocks of Chhattisgarh's Rajnandgaon district Ambagarh Chowki and Chhuriya blocks as first open defecation free (ODF) zones of state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday felicitated a 104-year-old woman who sold off her goats to build toilet at her home and inspired the whole village to build toilets at Dhamtari district.
Kuwar Bai, a 104-year-old woman of island-like Barari village of Dhamtari district had sold off her 10 goats and built two toilets with Rs 22000 at her home for convenience of women and daughters in the family and neighbours.
Overwhelmed with her initiative, Modi addressed her as "Ma Kuwar Bai" and said that with a young thought in mind and spirit, this 104 year-old uneducated woman who doesn't watch TV, nor reads newspapers, somehow gets to know Prime Minister's dream of ODF India and she goes out on a mission by selling off her goats to build toilet at home. It's time for youths to give a thought if their minds and thoughts are really young?"
Declaring it as a big sign of change, Modi said "Desh badal raha hai (the country is changing), it is proved when a woman sitting at far off village brings my dream into reality. It's so inspiring that the old tribal woman has also ensured to encourage other villagers build toilets at all homes."
I would like to ask media to highlight "Ma Kuwar Bai's" initiative, I don't care if you don't cover me, Modi requested.
"I congratulate and felicitate the citizens of two blocks Ambagarh Chowki and Chhuriya today who could achieve ODF zones with toilets at all homes due to their social awareness among people who had put their efforts towards progressive India," PM said.
Praising the residents, Modi said that even a Prime Minister has to think more than twice before enforcing taxes on public but people in these blocks without hesitation decided to slap fine on those who defecated in open which otherwise needs lot of motivation to get rid of centuries-old habit.
"This initiative taken by tribal population and 104-year-old elderly woman brings biggest benefit and respect for women who have to walk down to fields and forests in unsafe circumstances to relieve themselves. I bow my head in respect for them. Jan jan ke man man mai, it should get instilled in each person's heart to build toilet in their vicinity and home and progress towards disease-free and strong India by October 2019 of Clean India Mission," Narendra Modi said.
PM then shared an instance where someone tweeted him that for the first time an authentic scheme for welfare of farmer's has been launched in country called Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY).
"Farmers in our country totally depend upon rainfall for their crops and they need lots of moral support as they suffer from many shortcomings. To solve all their problems related to crop failure, paying for seeds and dealing with loss due to rainfall, PMFBY is going to support them with all these factors as 'Suraksha Kawach," Modi said.
The Prime Minister also felicitated Padma Shree Phoolbasan Bai Yadav, a social worker for her efforts towards development of economically and socially backward women in Chhattisgarh. Phoolbasan runs an NGO Maa Bambleshwari Janhit Kare Samiti and she was honoured by Government of India in 2012 with the highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shree.