Ram Kripal Yadav, union minister of state for drinking water and sanitation, Sunday visited a village in Meghalaya, interacted with villagers and looked at the condition of toilets and kitchens in a few houses.Yadav visited the tin-covered house of Saralin Wankhar in Mawphlang Nongrum village in East Khasi Hills, 25 km from state capital Shilling.He interacted with her and her school-going son.Yadav was offered kwai (betel nut, betel leaf and lime) which he took. He inspected the kitchen and the toilet at Wankhar's home.Yadav told IANS he visited the village following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's direction that ministers should gain first-hand information about the problems confronting people."Your beautiful state need to progress ahead in development and Prime Minister Modi too is serious in ensuring rapid development," he said.
Wankhar said she "did not expect a union minister to step into my house, and spend time with us. No minister in the past made such a visit"."I told him about our difficulties in the village and he promised that he will make efforts to bring development to our village."Suktimai Lyngdoh Mawphlang, who waited outside Wankhar's house to interact with Yadav, said: "Not even our legislator makes such visits after winning the assembly election. They come and visit us only during election time to seek votes."Yadav interacted with other villagers at the community hall where they complained about the non-availability of doctors.He said he would place the people's grievances before Modi, and this would not be his last visit to the village."I will visit your village again, and we will have food together," he said.Accompanied by government officials, Yadav visited the Mawphlang dam, the main source of water for Shillong and adjoining areas.He tasted the water pumped from the dam, and remarked that the water was "sweet".Yadav said the central government has enhanced the financial package, under the Total Sanitation Scheme, for the construction of a toilet and to provide safe drinking water from Rs.3,000 to Rs.12,000.