New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, over nine crore toilets have been constructed, President Ram Nath Kovind said Thursday, underlining that coverage of rural sanitation that was less than 40 per cent in 2014 has increased to 98 per cent.

Addressing the joint session of Parliament, he said lack of toilets forced crores of Indians, especially “our daughters and daughters-in-law”, to lead an undignified and an unhealthy life.

According to an assessment, because of the toilets built, numerous poor persons have been spared of various kind of diseases and more than 3 lakh lives have been saved, Kovind said.

“Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, more than 9 crore toilets have been constructed.

“It is the outcome of this mass movement that coverage of rural sanitation that was less than 40 percent in 2014, has increased to 98 percent,” the President said in his address.

He added, “In the year of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, we must remember that we have resolved in his memory to achieve Swachh Bharat by October 2.”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.