Country marks 2 yrs of Clean India campaign
New initiatives to clean public places, rewarding the impact-makers and fresh pledges to meet the 2019 target of a clean-India marked the day as the the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi completed two years on Sunday on Gandhi Jayanti.
Porbandar, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, and nearly 170 towns in Gujarat were declared Open Defection Free (ODF) on the birth anniversary of the ‘Father of the Nation’.
Andhra Pradesh became the second state after Gujarat to declare all its municipalities ODF under the ‘Swachch Bharat’ initiative and earned an incentive of Rs 185.97 crore from the Centre.
“Synchronizing the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan with Gandhiji’s birthday is most appropriate as he had always emphasized on adoption of cleanliness in our daily lives,” President Pranab Mukherjee said as he flagged-off a march for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at Rashtrapati Bhavan here. From Puducherry, to Rajkot, to his constituency Varanasi, the Prime Minister shared on Twitter pictures and videos of cleanliness drives and awareness campaigns held across the country by locals.
“It’s a matter of joy that Porbandar Dist, where Bapu was born has become open defecation-free on Sunday. Kudos to all those who made this happen,” Modi tweeted. Union Ministers, Chief Ministers and state ministers joined people in the cleanliness drives. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal helped in cleaning the Kamakhya Temple while Union Ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Kiren Rijiju were in action at a school here. Venkaih Naidu flagged off the ‘Swachhta Rally’ from India Gate.
Celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan joined cleanliness campaigns launched by media and corporate houses with the superstar saying that if Indians pledge to clean 10 yards around them, soon Modi’s vision of a Swachh Bharat can turn in to reality.
‘Swachh Bharat Mission has become a movement’
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said the Swachh Bharat Mission has become a social movement in the country, asserting that it was for first time in Independent India that people were joining hands for a such a cause.
Singh, who on Sunday administrated cleanliness pledge to school students at a function in Connaught Place’s Central Park on the second anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission, said that by 2019, Centre will achieve a target of ‘Swachh and Swasth Bharat’ set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We have to admit the truth that in Independent India, we have never seen people become aware about any social cause before, but now people are becoming more aware about Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
“Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has become a social movement in India and is effectively running across the entire country. It is not an ordinary awareness,” the Union Home Minister said.
He also appealed to school students to encourage their elders in keeping their surroundings clean.
“Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of achieving Swachh Bharat and Swasth Bharat by the end of 2019 and we will definitely succeed in this regard,” the Minister said.