NEW DELHI : The lack of sanitary conditions in India has a serious economic consequence too as it causes a loss of 6 per cent of the GDP every year, said Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday.
In his address at the 'Safaigiri Awards' function organised by the India Today Group on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Naidu said that the situation is very serious as facts stand as every family loses approximately Rs 50,000 every year due to unsanitary conditions.
"World Bank report also says that lack of sanitation cost us 6 per cent of our GDP... This is people's cause. You are not doing any favour to anybody by participating in this because facts, the situation is very serious.
"This has to be understood by us all that we cannot achieve sustained progress if we adopt a 'business as usual' approach. We should correctively set for an innovative solution that will make a tangible difference," Naidu added.
The Vice President also blamed the "everything goes" attitude of the people which is dragging the country behind and said that this will not work anymore.
"This is mission without any commission, so there should not be any remission in this mission. Because this has to become a people's movement. Unfortunately ... this has become the habit of the people 'sab kaam sarkar karega, hum bekaar baithe to chalega. Aisa nahi chalega" (Government will do everything, I will do nothing. This won't work)," he said.
"We need to, one work towards creating an atmosphere, change the mindset, secondly, create infrastructure and thirdly we have to think in future going for punitive action also.
"Otherwise in a country of our size with a 130 crore population where people think that we have freedom to do anything.. but at the same time you are affecting others' health also and you are bringing bad name to the society," he said.
Naidu also lauded the women for their newfound demand for toilets and refusing to marry if there are none at their in-laws' houses.
"That will solve some of the problem definitely because everybody needs to get married... It's not mandatory but it's required," he added.
He congratulated those who won the awards saying that they will serve as role models for others.