- Ministers to volunteer from 10 am to noon, clean bus-stands, markets
- PM wants communities mobilized for Swacch Bharat mission
- Cricket, hockey teams to be urged to adopt and clean slums
New Delhi: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi turns 67 on Sunday, his ministers have been told to spend 10 am to noon volunteering in efforts to push his Clean India or Swachh Bharat mission. The instructions were part of a power point presentation made last evening with the PM present; ministers were cautioned to aim not for publicity but on mobilizing communities.
The PM’s birthday will be marked, therefore, as “Sewa Diwas” or “Day of Service” and will employ ministers and the BJP’s parliamentarians in cleaning public places including toilets and popular tourist destinations like India Gate, Juhu Beach, and 15 other tourist places.
Ministers have also been asked to appropriate celebrities to join them and to adopt and clean slums in different cities.
In 2014, the PM launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Clean India Mission on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. “A clean India is the best tribute we can pay to Bapu when we celebrate his 150th birth anniversary in 2019,” he said when he announced the nationwide campaign for cleanliness and better sanitation. While he was photographed sweeping the narrow lanes of a north Delhi slum, ministers and other government officials were ordered to regularly clean their offices – including their toilet – and involve voters in their constituencies in the campaign.
Critics have said Swachh Bharat has been confined to photo ops and has created little difference on the ground.
The Sewa Diwas programme will be inaugurated on September 15 two days before PM Modi’s birthday by President Ram Nath Kovind when he visits his hometown Kanpur.
India Inc. has been asked to help raise 1,000 crores for the campaign during the campaign period.