Education, good health tools for eradicating poverty: president

October 20th, 2008 - 4:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Oct 20 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Monday said that education, sanitation, and good health are tools for eradicating poverty and are indicators of a country’s economic growth.”Sanitation is one of the important indicators that reflect the quality of life of the people. It is important for the good health of individuals and plays a central role in building clean and hygienic societies. It acts as a catalyst for progress in health and education indicators and, thereby, is a tool for poverty eradication and economic growth,” the president said.

Patil was speaking after conferring the Nirmal Gram Puraskar to Gaon Panchayats (village councils) of 13 states, including Assam and the other northeastern states, at a function here.

The Nirmal Gram Puraskar was awarded under the Total Sanitation Campaign.

A total of 10 Gaon Panchayats of Assam were conferred the award for 100 percent sanitation coverage. Gaon Panchayats from Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, and Bihar were also conferred with the awards, along with Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

“Consumption of unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation, which can result in lack of personal hygiene, have been the major causes of diseases in developing countries, leading to high child and adult mortality rates, particularly in rural areas. Similar conditions were also prevalent in India,” the president said.

The president said the need of the hour was community-based programmes and creating awareness in India’s rural areas.

“Children take the message from schools to their homes and from homes it will travel to the community. Many studies have pointed out that one of the reasons for high dropout rates among adolescent girls in our country is lack of sanitation facilities in schools. Imparting education to the girl child is of great importance in making our nation progressive. I would call on Panchayats to focus on this aspect also,” Patil said.

There are 3.2 million elected local body representatives in the country, making India not only the world’s largest democracy, but also the world’s most representative democracy.

“This number is large enough to stimulate a revolution in village development,” Patil said.

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