New Delhi, October 2 – Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched the Swatchh Bharat mission aimed at creating a ‘Clean India’ in the next five years. Modi symbolically wielded a broom on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, and reached out to all Indians to make cleanliness a mass movement.
Preparations were being made in government offices and also by the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in Delhi for large participation in “cleanliness oath” to be taken Thursday.
The launch was preceded by cleanliness campaign week beginning September 25 which saw central government offices being spruced up by discarding or overhauling old furniture and sending old files to record rooms.
The launch of the mission comes in the wake of a perception about Indian cities not being very clean. A number of people in rural areas still do not have access to toilets. Some schools in the rural areas also do not have toilets.
According to Census 2011, only 32.70 percent of rural households had access to toilets. According to a UN report released this year, India continues to have the largest number of people in the world defecating in the open.
Modi has been talking of “Clean India” in his major speeches, and most people feel that personal push being given by him to sanitation would have an impact.
Modi has said that a “clean India” will be the best tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019. The Father of the Nation had a penchant for cleanliness in his personal habits and strongly promoted it in society.
Modi will visit Rajghat – Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial – Oct 2 to pay his respects and later visit a Dalit colony. He would visit India Gate and launch the nationwide mission.
Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan Wednesday conducted surprise check in his ministry and expressed unhappiness over cleanliness in some rooms as also loose wires in corridors and upkeep of books in library. Paswan also picked up waste papers.
Home Secretary Anil Goswami also conducted surprise inspections to check cleanliness in home ministry offices and said such inspections will continue in the future.
Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani Wednesday released a handbook – ‘Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya’ to encourage hygiene and cleanliness in schools across the country.
The handbook aims at promoting behavioural change in school children so that they become agents of change in the society.
Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh urged staff of his ministry to devote two hours every week as “shramdan (labour)” to achieve the goal of the mission.
Government officials will be administered an oath Wednesday to improve cleanliness. A Rashtrapati Bhavan release said that president’s secretariat and attached offices will remain open Oct 2 in forenoon in connection with the Swachh Bharat Mission and officials and residents will be administered the ‘Cleanliness Oath’.
Academic institutions, industry associations and the corporate sector are expected to pitch in enthusiastically in the mission.
10.03am: PM’s speech has concluded.
9.59am: PM reads out the oath. Actor Aamir Khan joins him on the stage.
9.51 am: The Prime Minister has invited Mr. Anil Ambani among the 9 people to join the movement to Clean India.
9.40 am: If Indian’s can reach Mars at a cheap cost can we not clean our neighbourhoods PM Modi
9.35 am: Swachh Bharat Campaign logo is not just a logo,through it Gandhi ji is watching us,asking as when will we clean India, says Modi
9. 33 am: We gained freedom under leadership of Gandhi ji,but his dream of clean India is still unfulfilled, says Modi
8.52 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi clears litter at Valmiki Basti
8.40 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Valmiki Temple
8.09 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaches Valmiki Basti
7.46 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays tribute to Lal Bahadur Shastri at Vijayghat
7.43 am: Senior Congress leader Anil Shastri pays tribute to Lal Bahadur Shastri at Vijayghat
7.34 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat
7.30 am: Central Minister V K Singh and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat
7.29 am: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat
7.25 am: Congress President Sonia Gandhi pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat
6.47 am: Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu taking stock of preparations at Rajghat