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PM launches “Swachhata Hi Seva”, interacts with cross-section of people from across India via video conference


New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ Movement to boost nation wide public participation in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and catalyse the fulfilment of Bapu’s dream of a Clean India. Launching the campaign, the Prime Minister interacted with a cross-section of people from 17 locations across the country via video conferencing and urged people to rededicate themselves to fulfill Bapu's dream of Clean India. 'Swachhata Hi Seva Movement' commences today. This is a historic mass movement to strengthen the efforts to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi's dream of a clean India. From today till October 2, which is Gandhi Jayanti, let us rededicate ourselves towards fulfilling Bapu's dream of a Clean India. Today is a historic day filled with a new hope. With renewed vigour, we all pledge to offer offer Shramdaan till October 2 for cleanliness of India,' Mr Modi said. Talking about the achievements of the Swachh Bharat programme, the Prime Minister said that since 2014, Swachhta coverage has increased to 90 per cent from 40 per cent and that nine crore toilets have been built and 4.5 lakh villages, over 450 districts, 20 states and UTs declared ODF, all in short span of four years. The Prime Minister shared some key achievement, including how 450 districts in India have become Open Defecation Free within four years. Similarly, 20 States and Union Territories have declared themselves ODF in this period. He emphasized that providing facilities such as toilets or dustbins is not enough, and added that cleanliness or Swachhta is a habit that can be inculcated. He said people from across the country are now participating in the development of this habit. 'Nobody could have imagined that in four years, nearly nine crore toilets would be built and 4.5 lakh villages would become open defecation free. Could anyone have thought that in this period, over 450 districts would become open defecation free. This is the strength of India and its people,' Mr Modi said. On the occasion, he lauded the contribution of women and youth in clean India movement.The PM said that the Swachhata movement that started four years ago has now reached a crucial stage.'We can proudly say that every section of society, every companion, people of all ages have become associated with this campaign. No part of the country has been left untouched by this campaign,' Mr Modi said. The Swachhata Hi Seva movement, launched today, aims at generating greater public participation towards Swachhta.It is being organized in the run up to the fourth anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission, on October 2, 2018, which will also mark the commencement of the celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The Prime Minister urged everyone to be a part of this movement and strengthen the efforts to create a 'Swachh Bharat'.School children from Dibrugarh in Assam, explained to the Prime Minister, their contributions towards making their school and area, clean. The PM noted that youngsters are ambassadors of social change.' The way they have furthered the message of cleanliness is commendable,' he added.Members of milk and agriculture cooperatives assembled in Mehsana, Gujarat, to interact with the PM on their initiatives towards Swachhta. The Prime Minister noted that Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan has led to a decrease in cases of diseases such as diarrhoea.From the Gateway of India in Mumbai, actor Amitabh Bachchan explained the various cleanliness activities he has been involved in, including cleaning of a beach in Mumbai. Sharing his experience of being part of cleanliness drive, Bachchan said, 'As a citizen of this country it is my duty to be a part of the Swachhta mission.' Lauding the initiative by the PM, Bachchan said, 'Four years ago, you introduced the nation to the Swachh Bharat Mission. I too decided to get involved as a citizen of India. I have been associated with various cleanliness campaigns including the campaign to clean a beach in Mumbai.' 'I found television to be an effective way to spread the message of cleanliness. I realised that what people should do is focus on ensuring their immediate surroundings are clean. We were involved with a Cleanathon. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra and I went to hospitals with the message of Swachhata. I will continue working for a Swachh Bharat,' Bachchan said. Noted industrialist Ratan Tata also joined the interaction. 'It is a great honour and privilege to help launch a movement which should be the dream of every citizen of India,'he said.The Prime Minister expressed his belief that the private sector has a big role to play in the creation of a Clean India. Senior media persons from DainikJagran, including Sanjay Gupta, joined the interaction from Noida, and shared their efforts to further cleanliness. Jawans of the ITBP joined the interaction from the high altitude Pangong Lake in Ladakh. The Prime Minister praised the ITBP jawans for their bravery and their service to the nation. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev joined the interaction from Coimbatore. He said that there is a certain level of enthusiasm towards the Swachhata campaign, which is visible in his travels. He praised the Prime Minister for providing this impetus. The Prime Minister said that Swachh Bharat is not a movement of any Government or any Prime Minister, but an entire nation's movement.Women Swachhagrahis from Dantewada in Chhattisgarh and Salem in Tamil Nadu explained to the Prime Minister, their efforts towards Swachhata. Spiritual leaders.Citizens from Patna Sahib Gurudwara and Dadi Jankiji from Mt Abu, also interacted with the PM. The Prime Minister especially thanked the Brahmakumar is Sansthan for their efforts towards cleanliness. The Prime Minister interacted with citizens from Rajgarh in Madhya Pradesh, and Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh, including UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar joined the interaction from Bengaluru. He said that the Prime Minister has enthused the nation and especially the youth. The Prime Minister interacted with volunteers engaged in cleaning the Ganga, from Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. He praised them for their efforts in cleaning “Ma Ganga.” He called upon all citizens living on the banks of the River Ganga, to volunteer towards cleaning the river, during the Swachhata Hi Seva movement. Devotees from Ajmer Sharif Dargah, and railway employees from Rewari in Haryana also interacted with PM. Maa Amritanandamayee joined the interaction from Kollam.Summing up the interaction, the Prime Minister appreciated the role of the Swachhagrahis, and said their role would always be remembered in history. 'Our confidence and resolve towards cleanliness is sky-high,'the PM said and gave a clarion call to the people to work for Swachhata Hi Seva. The fortnight-long 'Swachhata hi Seva' movement will continue till October 2, the birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.

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