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President, Vice President to push Modi's Clean India

Shekhar Iyer, New Delhi, DH News Service, Sep 13 2017, 20:53 IST

Venkaiah Naidu in Bidar on Sep 17

While Kovind will launch the 'Swachhta Hi Seva' programme at Ishwariganj village in Kanpur which is his home constituency, Naidu will travel to Bidar in Karnataka for a similar function on September 17. PTI file photo

While Kovind will launch the 'Swachhta Hi Seva' programme at Ishwariganj village in Kanpur which is his home constituency, Naidu will travel to Bidar in Karnataka for a similar function on September 17. PTI file photo

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Clean India" campaign enters the third year next month, President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu are to boost the campaign by joining a special initiative later this week and next.

While Kovind will launch the ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ programme at Ishwariganj village in Kanpur which is his home constituency, Naidu will travel to Bidar in Karnataka for a similar function on September 17.

Both the leaders decided to take forward the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan as they felt that it was not a political programme of the government but one that must be converted to a massive movement that seeks to create a Clean India.

Naidu said he felt, as the Vice President, that he could be more involved in pushing the sanitation programme, which he had overseen as the urban affairs minister before assuming the constitutional post last month.

"This is not a programme of the government alone but of the people. As Vice President, I think I can do more," he said interacting with a group of editors on Wednesday.

Naidu said the Swachh Bharat roadmap laid out before the country is clear and well defined. "But to ensure a result oriented programme, there is a need for all stakeholders, mainly the citizens of India to join the campaign being led by the Prime Minister. No effort can be spared and no avenue left unexplored to achieve the target of a cleaner India."

In 2014, Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), thus so aptly on October 2, Gandhiji’s birthday. In his last radio address on August 27, the PM wanted a campaign called Swachchata Hi Sewa (Cleanliness is Service) for at least fifteen-twenty days prior to Gandhi Jayanti on October 2.

Naidu said the Swachch Bharat Mission (SBM) has achieved some measurable targets in the last three years. The programme has been linked directly with Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative. "I would like to promote Beti Bachao Beti Padhao."

The Vice President said the media, which has done a lot promote the campaign, must verify claims of elimination of open defecation, which is another crucial aspect of SBM. "Focus should be on how to ensure that there is easy access to sanitation for women, children, senior citizens and the differently abled and also that these toilets have a continuous piped water supply."

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