New Delhi: Ahead of Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a clarion call to the citizens of the country to participate in the mega cleanliness drive on October 1. In the 105th edition of Mann Ki Baat, a monthly radio programme, PM Modi informed about the cleanliness-related programs being planned across the country on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. He said, “The ‘Swachhta Hi Seva Abhiyaan’ is going on with great enthusiasm in all the offices of the Central Government. Significant participation is also being seen in the Indian Swachhata League.”
Asking people to step up for Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of a clean India, PM Modi said,
Today I also want to urge all the countrymen through ‘Mann Ki Baat’ – a big event on cleanliness is going to be organised on the 1st of October i.e. Sunday at 10 am. You too should take out time and help in this campaign related to cleanliness. You can also join this cleanliness campaign in your street, or neighbourhood or at a park, river, lake or any other public place and cleanliness must be undertaken wherever an Amrit Sarovar has been built. This Karyanjali of cleanliness itself will be the true tribute to Gandhi Ji.
Later in the day, while flagging off nine Vande Bharat Express trains via video conferencing, PM Modi reiterated his call for an hour-long cleanliness drive. He said,
A few days from now, on October 1, at 10 am, a big event on cleanliness is going to be organised. It is happening in every corner of the country and is being led by the countrymen. I strongly urge you to join this campaign of cleanliness. October 1, 10 am – confirm it now.
This mega cleanliness drive is part of the Swachhata Pakhwada- Swachhata Hi Seva 2023, being observed from September 15 till October 2, as stated in a press release from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The cleanliness drive calls upon citizens from all walks of life to join in cleaning of public places like market spaces, railway tracks, water bodies, tourist locations, and religious places, among others.
The press release stated, “Every town, Gram Panchayat, all sectors of the Government like civil aviation, railways, information and technology etc, public institutions will be facilitating cleanliness events led by the citizens.”
It also said that NGOs, resident welfare associations and private organisations interested in organising cleanliness events can also apply online on the portals of urban local bodies or district administrations.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.