5-time BJP MP’s kin defecate in open
Bhopal: In an eye-opener for the Swachh Bharat Mission, it turns out that Anuppur district panchayat president Roopmati Singh Marawi — daughter of five-time BJP MP Dalpat Singh Paraste — defecates in the open along with her entire family. So do 50,000 families in Anuppur.
Roopmati is a resident of Khamrodh village, about 130km from the district headquarters. She was elected district panchayat president in 2015. Asked why she doesn’t have a toilet at home when she should be spearheading the ODF drive, she tried to explain to TOI that the “process was on”. “Work started in April this year but it started raining and then there was harvest season. However, we have restarted building the toilet and it will be completed within a week,” Roopmati said.
Paraste died in June 2016. Asked where the family defecates if the toilet has not been built, Roopmati said: “As of now, we have to go out in the open.” She quickly added that it was monsoon that stalled the toilet. The truth is that Anuppur was among the rainfall-deficient regions this monsoon.
Sources in the district administration said that as many as 1.44 lakh houses in the district are without toilets, and 50,000 families defecate in the open. There are only 93,134 houses that have toi- lets. Asked why the district was lagging behind, coordinator of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Ram Naresh Verma, said: “Around seven months ago, all the elected representatives — including members of district panchayat, sarpanchs, and panchs — were instructed to build toilets if they don’t have one at home. They were warned that action will be taken against them under the Panchayat Raj Act. Most of them have constructed toilets.
Now, we have launched a door-to-door verification drive. Still around 20% families are without toilets, and we are advising those people.”
SWACHH BHARAT? Anuppur district panchayat president Roopmati Singh Marawi (L), the daughter of BJP MP Dalpat Singh Paraste, said the process of building a toilet at home ‘was on’