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PM gets 'Global Goalkeeper' award for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

PM gets Global Goalkeeper award for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was honoured with the prestigious "Global Goalkeeper" award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for his Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, has said that the cleanliness campaign played a critical role in helping achieve the United Nations' goals and targets.

"Getting the award in the year of Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary is personally significant for me. When 130 crore people take a pledge, any challenge can be overcome," the prime minister said as he accepted the award at a special ceremony here Tuesday night.

Speaking on the occasion, Modi noted that the success of the Swachh Bharat Mission is above and beyond any statistics.

The campaign has not only improved the lives of crores of Indians, but it has also played a significant role in achieving the goals set by the UN," Modi said.

Modi lauded the countrymen for contributing to the grand success of the cleanliness mission, saying he shared the honour with them.

He dedicated the award to those Indians who transformed the Swachh Bharat campaign into a "people's movement" and accorded topmost priority to cleanliness in their day-to-day lives.

"No such campaign was seen or heard about in any other country in the recent past. It might have been launched by our government, but people took control of it," Modi said. As a result, over 11 crore toilets were built in the country in the last five years, which was a record, he said.

The Prime Minister said that if the mission has benefited anyone the most, it is the country's poor and women.

"Only that person who does not have a toilet understands its value, especially women, he said, adding that not having a toilet was among their most tough problems.

He said that many young girls had to give up education due to lack of toilets in their schools.

Our daughters wanted to study but due to lack of toilets they were forced to leave their schools and sit at home, he said.

Modi said it was the responsibility of his government to help the girls and women of the country come out of this situation and it had performed the duty with utmost sincerity.

Modi also expressed satisfaction that Swachh Bharat Mission is helping save millions of lives.

He also met Bill Gates and Melinda Gates after the programme.

"PM @narendramodi had a fruitful interaction with @BillGates and @melindagates," the Prime Minister's Office said in a tweet.

During the event, he noted that even a report by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said that due to an increase in rural sanitation in india, the rate of heart problems in children has gone down and in women's Body Mass Index has improved. PTI

Yoshita Singh

Yoshita Singh

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