Build small toilets like phone booths: Akshay Kumar

Mumbai: Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar on Monday urged the Maharashtra government to construct toilets in every nook and corner on the lines of the now defunct telephone booths to make the state open defecation free.

Speaking at a conclave ‘Transform Maharashtra’ as part of the 57th Maharashtra Day celebrations, the actor urged Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to construct small toilets and create an app to inform people about their locations for optimum use.

He recalled an incident of how a woman sought divorce from her husband as his house did not have a toilet and urged all men that if they want to get married they must ensure a toilet at their homes.

He called for changing the mindset of people about the reluctance to have a toilet in the house where food is also cooked and pointed out the immense problems the women encounter.

Kumar recounted a dialogue from his upcoming film, “Toilet – Ek Prem Katha”, “agar biwi paas chahiye, to ghar mein sandaass (toilet) chahiye” to a loud round of applause even as dignitaries like industrialist Ratan Tata smiled.

Welcoming the actor’s suggestions, Fadnavis said he would initiate measures to implement them on a priority basis to increase the number of public toilets in the state.

As per official figures, so far, 225 cities and towns in the state have been declared ‘Open Defecation Free’ (ODF) and the entire urban Maharashtra is targeted to become ODF by October 2 as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Kumar also guided the assembled youth on staying fit and healthy, the need for exercising and proper diet, eating habits and other tips for a disease-free lifestyle, including eating the last meal of the day by 7 p.m.