In a bid to accelerate the cleanliness movement in India to make it a better place to live and to promote the environmental harmony at large, the Swachhata Hi Seva movement was launched today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The campaign was kicked off in commemoration of the Mahatma Gandhi fondly called Bapu, who dreamt of having a cleaner India.
The campaign kicked off with a cleaning spree at Baba Sahib Ambedkar Higher Secondary School, situated at Paharganj in Delhi. The campaign is designed to be a clean-up drive for fifteen days that would lead up to the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October. A high standard of cleanliness would be ensured across the country in these fifteen days to spread awareness among the population and inculcate the habit of keeping the surroundings clean.
In order to provide encouragement to the common masses, the Prime Minister undertook to sweep and clean the premises of the school himself as he initiated the movement. To start what he termed as Swachhhata Shramdaan meaning donation in form of cleanliness efforts, the PM left without any security route in place. He interacted with the students and asked them to do their bit for making the environment clean.
He also addressed the nation to launch the initiative. On the occasion he lauded the progress of the Swachh Bharat campaign which has reached a crucial stage and the construction of nine million toilets in India in merely four years that has provided freedom from open defecation to millions of deprived people. He communicated via video conferencing with the megastar and the business tycoon along with CM Yogi Adityanath, various students, NGO volunteers, paramilitary security forces, ITBP, Swachhagarhis from Bijnor UP, media persons, etc. while thanking them for their contributions. He hailed the Nari Shakti or women power, who have worked immensely for the cause; the milk and agricultural co-operative sector, which furthered the movement; the youngsters, who have assisted in conveying the message of importance of cleaning to various corners. The PM twitter handle acknowledged the support lent by various personalities from different walks of life like Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Mata Amritanandamayi, Sadhguru JV, etc.
Apart from the Prime Minister Union Minister of Home Affairs of India Rajnath Singh was seen motivating people by sweeping the streets of Faridabad. The Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmedra Pradhan also cleaned parts of Delhi’s Vasant Vihar’s area as a part of Swachhata Hi Seva movement.
India was ranked the fourth worst country among 180 nations in handling environmental issues as per the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) of 2018. EPI is a green ranking system and was released on Davos World Economic Forum sidelines. India was only ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh and Burundi. This is a huge concern since India ranked 141 in the same index two years ago. Cleanliness has a great role to play in improving the EPI of a country and for improving the quality of life and aesthetics of a nation as a whole.