Tag Archives: Vidya Balan

India’s “sanitation crusader” Minister Jairam Ramesh stripped of post

Minister Jairam Ramesh and Bollywood actress and sanitation ambassador Vidya Balan at the launch of the Nirmal Bharat Yatra sanitation campaign. Photo: UNI

In a cabinet reshuffle Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has been stripped of his additional post as Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation [1]. His successor is Bharatsin Madhavsinh Solanki, a former railway minister and a Member of Parliament representing Gujarat’s Anand district.

News agency PTI reported that sources in Ramesh’s office were disappointed that their Minister was being replaced [2].

The Minister has been passionate about sanitation-related issues which he brought it in the limelight, they said, adding that Ramesh also managed to get additional funds to carry out the projects.

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Bollywood actress becomes India’s sanitation brand ambassador

Vidya Balan, who received the Best Actress National Film Award for her role in 2011 Bollywood hit ‘The Dirty Picture’, will now play a role to alter the real dirty picture in India. Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has named the Bollywood actress as the brand ambassador in his campaign for improving sanitation [1].

According to India’s 2011 census, nearly half of population have no toilet at home, but more people own a mobile phone [2]. There are 2.1 million toilets in India which rely on manual scavengers to empty them [1].

The Minister hopes that Balan can help turn his campaign to end open defecation into a national obsession:

“it is going to be a very serious commitment on her part – she’s had a dirty picture in reel life, but this will be a clean picture in real life”. [1]

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