Amit Shah urges people to shun single-use plastic

Amit Shah gave a clarion call to shun single-use plastic and urged citizens to take an initiative to make this a mass movement. (PTI photo)

Flagging off a nation-wide Gandhi Sankalp Yatra from the national capital on the 150th birth anniversary of the 'Father of the Nation' Mahatma Gandhi, BJP chief Amit Shah on Wednesday made a strong pitch for single-use plastic free India reminding people how even “Gau Mata” was found to have deposited in her stomach 50 kilograms of plastic.

Shah, who also took out a roadshow asked people’s representatives of BJP to take home the message of “Mahamanav” Mahatma Gandhi by carrying out a 150-kilometre long padyatra each in 15 days starting on October 2. This he said was needed to “reawaken and re-establish (punarjagaran and punarsthapan) the ideals of Gandhi insisting that solutions of all problems of the world lie in the philosophy of Gandhi (Gandhi Darshan).

In sync with the idea of the party’s “Mann Me Bapu” campaign, Shah asked party workers to take home the Gandhi’s message of non-violence and deepening roots of democracy in the country throughout the year and particularly during the month-long campaign from October 2 to October 31.

Recalling how Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2 in 2014 had launched Swachchta, Shah said the campaign against single-use plastic is another such idea, which has to be turned into a mass movement.

“We call cow ‘gaumata’. The entire nation also considers cow as ‘gaumata’. But when by consuming single-use plastic littered in streets, 50 kilograms of plastic get deposited in the stomach of gaumata, one realises what a menace is single-use plastic,” Shah said asking women to use cloth bag for shopping and avoid polythene bags.

“We will raise awareness for a pollution free, clean India. If one person takes one vow in this direction, it will be 130 crore vows in totality,” Shah said flagging the significance of mass campaign on such issues.

“In 2014, PM Modi issued a clarion call to make India open defecation free and a sanitation revolution began. Initiatives at grassroot levels were taken and on Bapu's 150th birth anniversary, the incredible has been achieved. But the movement needs to continue,” the BJP said.

At the event at which BJP workers were wearing Gandhi tea shirts with “Man Me Baapu” inscribed on some of them, Shah said Gandhi not played a key role in getting the freedom to the country from the Britishers but also established the values of Indian culture (Bhartiya Sanskriti) in the whole world. He said there is a need to make Gandhi anniversary a people’s campaign and not confine it to a few government programmes. “Mahatma Gandhi was such a personality who gave recognition to Indian values in the whole world,” he said. Shah said Gandhi’s ideas are equally relevant today as they were during the freedom struggle. “Modi has executed Gandhi’s ideas both as Chief Minister of Gujarat as well as Prime Minister,” he said crediting him with having inculcated the feeling of Swachchata among even the kids.

“If any old person grown up during Congress times throw litter on the road, his grand-son walking along with him tells him not to throw garbage there but garbage box,” he said subtly telling that it was actually BJP’s Modi, who brought Gandhi’s ideas into practice. Reminding that Gandhi always batted for sanitation, Shah said there was hardly any Prime Minister in independent India other than Narendra Modi, who took the campaign of Swachhata to this level.

Earlier Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to Gandhi at Rajghat, the samadhi of Mahatma and in Parliament.

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