When Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat campaign on October 2, Gandhi Jayanthi day, with a vision for a Clean India by 2019, he had also invited nine celebrities to take up the challenge and carry it forward by example. The invited celebrities were Shashi Tharoor, Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Ambani, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Kamal Haasan, Mridula Sinha, Ramdev and the TV serial team ‘Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chashma’. He also asked each one of the celebrities to nominate nine each in their turn to further expand the scope and strength of the greatest ever cleanliness campaign, by continuing the chain. This is a great idea indeed and it is heartening to see all of them have taken up the challenge to spread awareness of cleanliness among each and every one of us.
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan accepted the challenge sent by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. He along with his team started cleaning up areas of Karjat village in Mumbai on October 21. A fresh coat of paint was applied to several houses in rural Karjat. He shared his pictures cleaning Karjat with the media. He thanked Narendra Modi for choosing him as one of the challengers in this great Clean India Mission. At his own expense, Salman Khan had decided to get every single house painted in the Karjat village. He is presently shooting in this place for his movie ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’. He also requested all his fans on Facebook and Twitter to take part in the ‘Clean India Campaign.’ He nominated eight others too in accordance with the Prime Minister’s suggestion to nine well-known personalities to join the drive as well as to name nine each in their turn to multiply the strength of the campaign as it moves forward.
His message on FB read, “I nominate the following for the Swachh Bharat campaign and request them to further nominate nine more people. First, I nominate my fans on Facebook and followers on Twitter. Each one of us can make a difference. And I nominate Aamir Khan, Azim Premji, Chanda Kochhar, Omar Abdullah, Pradeep Dhoot, Rajat Sharma, Rajinikanth and Vineet Jain.”
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, joining the ambitious ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan,’ along with his large number of supporters, cleaned the entire area from Kankhal, till Har Ki Pauri, the holiest of places, in Haridwar, on October 16. He also appealed to the people of Haridwar to take part in the campaign by cleaning their houses and roads and streets. He has plans to recruit more volunteers to strengthen the campaign, an on-going programme. Emphasising on the need for an educated, healthy and clean India, he said, “We will work for ‘sikshit, swasth and swachch bharat’”.
Baba Ramdev is among nine people who had been invited by the Prime Minister to join the cleanliness drive.
Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani, taking up the challenge of Swachh Bharat Mission, said, “I am honoured to be invited by our respected Prime Minister Shri Narendrabhai Modi to join the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.” He took the broom on October 8 and cleaned an area outside the Church Gate Station in Mumbai, which was appreciated by Narendra Modi. Anil Ambani then invited nine prominent personalities to carry on the cleanliness campaign forward. These were Asian Games gold medallist boxer Mary Kom, film star Amitabh Bachchan, tennis star Sania Mirza, journalist Shekhar Gupta, columnist Shobha De, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, Telugu superstar Nagarjuna, Bollywood hero Hrithik Roshan, and Runners Clubs of India.
Mary Kom accepted Anil Ambani’s challenge of cleanliness campaign. Coming back from Incheon Asian Games after winning the gold medal, Mary Kom appreciated Narendra Modi for this great initiative and she along with her family members and the students of her boxing academy will take up the campaign in her home State of Manipur soon. The North East Border Area Development Organization (NEBADO), Manipur, under the district public health engineering department, has already started the mission at various villages of Kasom Khullen sub-division in Ukhrul. To carry forward the campaign, Mary Kom has invited some other personalities like footballer Sunil Chetri, Bollywood actor Darshan Kumar, wrestler Yogeshwar, wrestler Sushil Kumar and shooter Heena Sidhu and others to join the mission.
Sachin Tendulkar wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, applauding him for the launch of this cleanliness drive, and also thanked him for his invitation to join this campaign. As a part of this campaign, he and his team of friends took brooms, spades and mattocks in their hands to clean the footpath on the road opposite the Bandra Reclamation Bus Depot. This footpath had been dumped with litter and garbage for a long time, as a result of which it was not used by the pedestrians. In fact, for many, this footpath was been misused as a place to relieve themselves. Tendulkar and his friends started very early in the morning. Soon, they were joined by the locals there and the rickshaw pullers nearby. It took them almost four hours to complete the entire stretch.
After the completion of the cleanup of the footpath, Sachin Tendulaker and his friends also painted the compound wall adjoining the footpath. He then coordinated with the local municipal corporator, who responded enthusiastically to put up benches and solar lighting and grow plants. The Mumbai police also extended its support by ensuring that there would be no illegal parking along the footpath. Not only that, Sachin Tendular also visited the area the next day to clean the dump and litter accumulated during the previous day. Taking part in this cleanliness mission, Tendulkar said, “I am committed to do more and urge all of you to do your bit in making Clean India a reality”.
Nagarjuna accepts Anil Ambani’s challenge. He is the latest to join this mission, after being nominated by Anil Ambani to spread the Swachh Bharat campaign. He said that it was a matter of great pride, and a huge responsibility and he promised that he would find ways to engage people and sustain the cleanliness awareness as well as create thousands of Swachh Bharat ambassadors.
As a part of this great cleanliness mission, a significant step has been taken by RB (formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser), NDTV, Facebook and Dettol by launching “Dettol Banega Swachh India”. For this campaign, Amitabh Bacchan has been roped in as the brand ambassador and they have allocated a sum of Rs 100 crore over the next five years. The aim of this campaign is to provide expert guidance and insight in the need for behavioural change, spread the knowledge on the benefits of hygiene and sanitation to millions of people across the country, and also support and contribute towards the building of toilets, and keeping these clean and hygienic. In the initial phase, the group RB, the global leader in consumer health and hygiene, will cover around 400 villages across eight States – UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, MP & Maharashtra.
The idea of spreading the campaign through an expanding chain is brilliant and we are thankful to the celebrities who are actively in the mission. But, this is not a one-day campaign. And this is not a campaign meant only for the celebrities. The celebrities’ drive is no doubt important as many of us do ape the celebrities and try to be one like them. If they can do it, why can’t we? It is time for the aam janta too to get involved in the cleanliness drive.
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