M A I N   N E W S

Jairam, Vidya team up for a cleaner India
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 28
With around 60 per cent of world’s open defecation happening in India and manual scavenging still a dark ugly truth, India, according to Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, presents a rather “Dirty Picture” to the World. But with the help of the real “Dirty Picture” star Vidya Balan and invoking the man who originally talked about cleanliness (“Cleanliness is next to godliness”, Mahatma Gandhi had said) for an awareness-oriented Nirmal Bharat Yatra, Ramesh, who is also the Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, hopes to make a huge difference.

Announcing the launch of the Yatra on October 3, a journey across five states in India spanning nearly 2,000 km over 51 days to spread awareness about an open defecation-free India, Ramesh said sanitation should become a national and political obsession. The yatra, according to the minister, would touch important places related to Mahatma Gandhi and the Quit India Movement.

Starting from Wardha (Maharashtra), the centre of Quit India Movement on October 3, it will reach Indore (Madhya Pradesh) on October 14, Kota (Rajasthan) on October 22, Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) on October 31 and Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) on November 9, to end at Bettiah (Bihar), birthplace of Mahatma’s first Satyagraha, on November 17.

The event does include Mahatma’s birthplace in Gujarat.

The reason, Ramesh explained, was the forthcoming state elections and the possibility of the model code of conduct being enforced there.

For the sanitation ambassador Vidya Balan, sanitation is an issue close to her heart.

There is a wide gap between urban and rural areas in terms of infrastructure, she said, expressing the hope that big changes would be visible in the coming years.

She also endorsed the slogan of the ad campaign — Jahaan shauch, wahaan shauchalay.





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