'Need change in mindset for open defecation-free India by 2019: Union Minister

New Delhi: A total of 1.39 crore toilets constructed by government remain unused and people need to change their mindsets to use them for an open defecation-free India by 2019, Union Minister Ram Kripal Yadav said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

"As per our record, a total of 1.39 crore toilets remain unused. But ever since our government was formed and the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched, we have increased monitoring; we have not received complaint in this regard.

"People should change their mindsets... they should feel the toilets are for them, their hygiene. They should use them for an open defecation-free India by 2019," Yadav, Union Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation, said.

Yadav made the remarks while addressing an event organised by WaterAid and UNICEF to release a handbook on 'Accessible Household Sanitation Facilities for Persons with Disabilities' and guidelines on 'Menstrual Hygiene Management' (MHM).

The Minister also launched 'SwachhApp' which will give users access to information about number of toilets built at village-levels and names of persons whose in whose residences the facility is provided.

Yadav insisted the guidelines will be very helpful to persons with disabilities in having access to sanitation. He urged the organisers to take up the guidelines MHM guidelines to women and girls, especially those from rural areas where the females lack resources and knowledge on hygiene issues.

The event was addressed by joint secretary for Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Saraswati Prasad and UNICEF's Francis Odhiambo.

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