Union ministers take brooms into their own hands

Starting a cleanliness drive under the “Swachh Bharat Mission”, a group of Union ministers on Monday decided to set an  example by using brooms to keep government offices clean, in line with the directives of the Prime Minister’s Office.

After conducting surprise checks at the Gol Dak Khana and Lodhi Road post offices here, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad pulled up postal department officials for failing to maintain cleanliness in the premises. He found several dusty file cabinets and told officials that he wanted post offices across the country to be clean.

Postal Board Member Anjali Devasher said that a complete status report on the cleanliness drive would be handed over to the telecom minister in a month. Officials, however, sought Rs 10 crore in funds for civil work and cleanliness as against the current allocation of Rs 3.5 crore.

“I have announced that I will go to clean Patna Railway Station on October 2. Union ministers will also go on a cleanliness drive. The prime minister himself will go to clean Valmiki basti near Birla Mandir. When the prime minister and ministers can do this, you should not feel ashamed of it,” Prasad told officials at Sanchar Bhawan here. 

Labour and Employment Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, accompanied by staff and doctors, played his part in the campaign, too, by sweeping a hospital run by the Employee State Insurance Corporation at Rohini here.

Meanwhile, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan appealed to employees of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to dedicate 100 hours every year to keep cities and towns clean after setting an example himself by using a broom. Paswan called for a change in the mindset of people and said that like developed countries, sweepers should be given due respect.

He asked over 36,000 FCI employees to join the campaign and keep their homes, offices, neighbourhoods, towns and cities spick and span.

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