Modi's drive strikes chord with Gandhi ashram

Modi's drive strikes chord with Gandhi ashram

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stress on cleanliness has struck a chord with the residents of the ashram established by Mahatma Gandhi in this village about eight kilometres from Wardha.

The residents went a step further to caution that the “Swachha Bharat” campaign should not be confined to a few days. “Modi has picked up one of Gandhiji's many messages. The cleanliness campaign should not be a one-off affair. It should be part of daily life,” octogenarian Kusumtai Pande, who has been a resident of the Ashram since 1945, told Deccan Herald.

Modi has taken the cleanliness drive to election campaigns. He has been exhorting the audience at his massive rallies across Maharashtra to maintain cleanliness at the venue and dispose of waste paper, empty water and bottles in garbage bins.

There are about 12 residents in the Ashram and each is assigned a specific task to keep the sprawling campus clean. Pande cleans the Bapu Kuti, which was home to Gandhi.

Modi had also appealed to the schools to carry out cleanliness drive for six days from the birth anniversaries of late Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru (November 14) to that of Indira Gandhi (November 19), in what was seen as a bid to poach on Congress icons.

Modi had visited “Bapu Kuti” and paid tribute to the Mahatma.

He wrote in Gujarati that Gandhi was not just a human being but a thought.

Sevagram Ashram was founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936 after he left Sabarmati on conclusion of his salt satyagraha. This was his home in his last years. Gandhi left Sevagram in 1946 for a tour of the country which took him to places such as Naokhali, now in Bangladesh, and later to Delhi, where he was killed.

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