Defence Min unveils Gandhi's statue at Delhi Cantonment

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Delhi Cantonment. (PTI Photo)

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Delhi Cantonment on Wednesday and urged people to shun single-use plastic.

Paying rich tributes to the Father of the Nation, he said Gandhi was a rare man who wielded influence over people without occupying formal positions of power.

Singh also paid tributes to former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, who shares his birthday with Gandhi.

The statue of Gandhi was erected by the Directorate of Defence Estates on his 150th birth anniversary at Delhi Cantonment's Sri Nagesh Garden.

Addressing the gathering, Singh said Gandhi's political programmes had economic, social and cultural messages.

Referring to the Champaran movement, he said while fighting for the rights of exploited indigo farmers, Gandhi had urged them to also work for the cleanliness of their surroundings and villages.

For Gandhi, that was as important as freedom, Singh observed.

He also urged people to widen the scope of cleanliness programmes to cover environment protection and not to use single-use plastic bags. He advocated using environment-friendly cloth bags instead.

Singh said the cleanliness ideas and works of Gandhi were transformed into a people's movement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through the Swachh Bharat Mission.

"The result is there for everyone to see. The coverage of toilets in households has increased from 37 per cent in 2014 to 98 per cent now. A total of 11 crore toilets have been constructed in the last five years," he added.

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