Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 15
Launching the 15-day “Swachhata Hi Seva” campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took up a broom to clean a school named after Dalit icon BR Ambedkar in Paharganj as ministers of his government and BJP leaders and workers participated in similar exercise across the country.
He launched the exercise to push for greater public participation in cleanliness. The campaign will conclude on October 2, which will mark the end of the fourth year of “Swachh Bharat Mission” and commencement of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, who is regarded as an apostle of cleanliness.
After the launch, he shared experiences with a cross-section of people at 17 locations in 13 states through video-conferencing, during which he congratulated people for making the cleanliness drive a success. Subsequently, he paid floral tributes to the statute of Dr Ambedkar at Babasaheb Ambedkar Higher Secondary School.
In his address before the interactive session, he said: “Cleanliness drive cannot be successful unless adopted by people at large.” He cited 450 districts and 20 states and UTs becoming Open Defecation Free (ODF) among key achievements during four years of Swachh Bharat Mission.
“Nine crore toilets have been constructed and more than 4.5 lakh villages have become ODF,” he added.
“A WHO report has said the drive has increased hygiene and sanitary awareness level in India,” he said. In his interface with students at Dibrugarh in Assam, Modi lauded women participation and said the cases of school dropouts had reduced on account of construction of toilets. Interacting with Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and industrialist Ratan Tata at the Mumbai centre, he thanked them for their contributions and acknowledged the private sector’s role to create a clean India.
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