“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. Today is 2nd October. Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. Today is also Mahashtami. Indeed a perfect and an auspicious day to launch a big campaign by our PM Narendra Modi. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Today, whole of India is saying “Swachh Bharat”, with all Government employees, organizations, trade associations and religious bodies, along with the nation taking oath with our ever-inspiring PM for a clean India.
With a broom in his hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the nationwide campaign, “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” that has the single clear objective of cleaning up the entire nation in the next 5 years. Led by Cabinet Ministers, after a cleanliness drive for almost 7 days in Central Government offices, “Swachh Bharat Mission” has been formally launched amidst a number of ministers, Government employees and thousands of school children and college students in Rajpath. PM NaMo flagged off a walkathon as part of the campaign and invited the people of the country to take the cleanliness pledge along with him.
At the launch of the campaign, the PM said that cleaning should not be the responsibility of the karamcharis or workers alone. All citizens of the nation are equally responsible for keeping India clean. The mindset of the people should be changed and each and every one should come forward to participate in this cleanliness drive. He also said, “This work is not only about a prachar abhiyan. It is a big effort but we have a lot of time. India can do it, the people of India can do it.”
There were around 3,000 students gathered at India Gate, in front of whom, the PM read out an oath asking the students to keep their nation clean. He also asked everyone, including the students to devote at least 100 hours a year to clean their localities nearby. He also said that all nations are clean because it is the citizens who keep their nation clean and Indians should also follow this. NaMo was joined by Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani, and other officials. He also urged the people of India to consider this campaign as an all India-movement, which also includes changing the old habits of the people. The pledge is “I will not litter or allow anyone to litter”.
Rajpath to Valmiki Colony
He started his walkathom from Rajpath and then went to Valmiki colony, a place which was once home to Mahatma Gandhi. He swept a small area in the colony, a colony of sanitation workers in the company of party colleagues and officials. In fact, the cleaning process in the Valmiki Sadan in Central Delhi started a few days back, when hundreds of municipal workers and political activists got involved in painting the houses afresh in the colony and the streets were cleaned before NaMo’s visit. Also the Valmiki temple was cleaned by officials a few days back. The residents are now waiting eagerly for the celebration of Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti, which falls on October 8. The residents also hope that the cleanliness drive should not be for a temporary period. They expect that the authorities will help the residents to maintain cleanliness in the future.
Social media Clean India Campaign
Knowing the importance of social media in today’s age, PM NaMo in his address at the India Gate also said that he has started a social media campaigning in this Clean India drive by asking 9 people to come forward and start cleaning an area and upload their video, who in turn will ask another 9 people to take up the challenge, which will continue, thus creating a viral campaigning. He has invited Mridula Sinha, Priyanka Chopra, Shashi Tharoor, Salman Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Ambani, Kamal Haasan, Baba Ramdev and the entire team of Taraak Mehta Ki Ulta Chasma to take part in this cleanliness drive through social media.
Objectives of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
- Clean up the country by 2019
- Complete sanitation facilities in all areas of India in the next five years
- Getting rid of open defecation
- Proper management and treatment of both solid and liquid waste across the country
- Around Rs 2 lakh crore will be spent by the Central Government in the next five years
- Rs 62,000 crore will be allocated by the Urban Development Ministry for cleaning towns across the country
- Rs 1 lakh 34 thousand crore will be spent by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation for the programme.
- A 19-member expert committee has been formed under the chairmanship of scientist Raghunath Anant Mashelkar, former director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, to suggest best technologies on sanitation and water for the campaign.
We hope and pray that Swachh Bharat Mission does not remain simply a campaign just for a namesake. On the auspicious occasion of the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi who wanted a “Clean India”, let us all pledge that we as the citizens of the country will work hand-in-hand to make this mission a great success. This campaign is for 1.2 billion people of India.
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