PM sweeps street to launch Clean India

PM sweeps street to launch Clean India

Sachin, Anil Ambani, Tharoor roped in

PM sweeps street to launch Clean India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday wielded a broom and cleaned a portion of Valmiki Colony that houses sweepers, and urged the nation to take a pledge for improving sanitation standards “with a bipartisan spirit of patriotism” and not politics.

Reclaiming Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of a clean India on his birth anniversary, Modi sought involvement of people in the “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” or the Clean India campaign, a five-year initiative that he launched in the morning. He had invited nine icons from different fields to make the initiative a mass movement. The government alone cannot shoulder this huge task, he added.

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, yoga guru Ramdev, industrialist Anil Ambani and film personalities Kamal Hassan, Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra and cast of television serial “Tarak mehta ka oolta chashma” were brought together to take the mission to the people.

Aamir Khan also volunteered to become a part of the campaign just like he took up different social causes through a popular TV programme he anchored.

President Pranab Mukherjee flagged off the cleanliness drive at Kirnahar in Birbhum district of West Bengal by administering pledge to the students and others at Kirnahar Shib Chandra High School.

Taking a cleanliness pledge at India Gate, which stands as a testimony for sacrifices made to achieve freedom, the prime minister said the campaign was the best tribute to Mahatma Gandhi who gave us the “message of “Quit India” and “Clean India”.

Modi said the Quit India mission was realised after the country got freedom but Clean India remained a distant dream. Modi exhorted people to treat it as “our social responsibility” to help fulfil Gandhi’s vision of Clean India by his 150th birth anniversary in 2019. About 30 lakh government employees were present at the launch of the event owing to an official directive, an exception to October 2 being one of the three national holidays.

Modi surprised his guards  and the public when on two occasions he sidestepped the fixed itinerary to visit Mandir Marg police station, where he pointed out the filth inside the complex. Similarly, after flagging off a walkathon at Rajpath the prime minister marched along with participants, including Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, holding placards that advocated “Dustbin is for use, so just use it”. The drive is expected to cost between Rs 62,000 crore and Rs 2 lakh crore.