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Thousands join in as Modi leads nation in cleanliness drive ahead of Gandhi Jayanti

Source: PTI
October 01, 2023 22:25 IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday pitched for blending fitness and well-being with cleanliness as he led a nationwide Swachhata hi Seva campaign that saw thousands participate in an hour-long "shramdaan" across the country.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ankit Baiyanpuria, a fitness influencer, take part in the 'Shramdaan for cleanliness' programme as part of the ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ campaign, in New Delhi, October 1, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo

Wielding a broom, the prime minister took part in the drive along with fitness influencer Ankit Baiyanpuriya.


Sharing a four-minute video on his official 'X' account, Modi said, "Today, as the nation focuses on Swachhata, Ankit Baiyanpuriya and I did the same! Beyond just cleanliness, we blended fitness and well-being also into the mix. It is all about that Swachh and Swasth Bharat vibe!"

IMAGE: Union Home Minister Amit Shah participates in the special cleanliness programme, in Ahmedabad. Photograph: ANI Photo

People from all walks of life, from politicians to students, took up brooms and participated in the campaign in response to the prime minister's appeal for the cleanliness drive.

According to the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, more than 9.20 lakh sites across the country have been adopted for the mega drive.

In a recent episode of Mann Ki Baat, Modi appealed for "one hour of shramdaan (or voluntary labour) for swachhata" on October 1 by all citizens, saying it would be a Swachhanjali to Mahatma Gandhi on the eve of his birth anniversary.

Several Union ministers, including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, R K Singh, Piyush Goyal and Hardeep Singh Puri, participated in the mega cleanliness drive.

Shah took part in the drive in Ahmedabad, while Bharatiya Janata Party chief JP Nadda participated in it in Delhi's Jhandewalan area.

IMAGE: Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri in New Delhi. Photograph: /

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh led the shramdaan activities, including a cleanliness drive, beautification of the common area and a plantation drive, at the premises of the Controller General of Defence Accounts in Delhi Cantonment.

In a post on 'X', Singh said that in recent years, awareness towards cleanliness has increased throughout the country and become a mass movement.

IMAGE: BSF personnel participate in the cleanliness' drive in Samba, Jammu and Kashmir. Photograph: ANI Photo

Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri led the cleanliness drive at Princess Park on Copernicus Marg in Delhi. Sanitation workers, students and residents of the area, along with senior officials from his ministry, attended it.

"Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modiji's call for Swachhata Hi Seva, joined residents of the temporary settlement at Princess Park on Copernicus Marg for one hour of Shramdaan for a Garbage Free India," Puri tweeted.

A cleanliness drive was conducted at the Samvidhan Sadan (old Parliament building) complex to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary.

IMAGE: Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur in Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh. Photograph: ANI Photo

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath participated in a 'Swachhata Pakhwada' campaign in Sitapur.

Taking part in the drive in Delhi, Union Power Minister RK Singh told reporters, "We (Centre) have taken a resolve to make the country clean. It is a big challenge but we will do it."

The Union housing and urban affairs ministry said the Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force came together with civilians to clean up various areas, railway tracks, heritage buildings, stepwells and forts among others.

Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari volunteered in a cleanliness activity in New Delhi.

IMAGE: Eastern Railway general manager Amar Prakash Dwivedi with others in Kolkata. Photograph: ANI Photo

The ministry said NGOs, market associations, self-help groups, faith groups, trade bodies and private sector companies among others volunteered for the "shramdaan" in more than 22,000 market areas, 10,000 water bodies, 7,000 bus stands or toll plazas, 1,000 gaushalas, 300 zoos and wildlife areas and various other locations in rural and urban India.

According to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, it held cleanliness drives at 500 locations across the national capital.

According to Sulabh International, it organised a Swachhta Hi Seva campaign at 1,000 locations across 300 cities and towns which saw the participation of 50,000 people.

IMAGE: Railway workers demonstrate 14-minute miracle cleaning a Vande Bharat Express train, in New Delhi. Photograph: ANI Photo

Bollywood actors, including Akshay Kumar and Suniel Shetty, also took part in the cleanliness drive. Kumar, who is currently abroad, posted a picture on 'X' of participation in the drive on a beach.

"Cleanliness is not just about physical spaces, it is a state of mind. Being out of the country couldn't stop me from paying a tribute to Swachhata Abhiyan. So I would say where ever you are, do your bit to keep your space, and mind, clutter free," Kumar posted.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel participated in a drive in Ahmedabad. BJP MP Dinesh Sharma, who also participated, said "swachhata (cleanliness)" has become the face of the country.

IMAGE: Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan in Hyderabad. Photograph: ANI Photo

Cricketers Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma also appealed to the people to come together for Ek Tareekh, Ek Ghanta, Ek Saath and join the citizen-led movement to strengthen the resolve towards cleanliness.

BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said, "We hope that people stay connected with the Swachh Bharat Mission that was launched by PM Modi."

IMAGE: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minster Yogi Adityanath in Sitapur. Photograph: ANI Photo

Uttar Pradesh deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak, who took part in a 'Swachhata Pakhwada' in Lucknow, said such events are being organised across the country on the prime minister's appeal and urged people to participate.

Among the states, Uttar Pradesh adopted more than one lakh sites for cleanliness drives while Maharashtra conducted the programme in over 62,000 locations. Large stretches of national highways were adopted as well for the cleanliness drive.

IMAGE: Employees of Dharmanandan Diamonds clean the street in Surat. Photograph: ANI Photo

In Telangana, temples of historical significance were cleaned during the drive.

The Urban Affairs Ministry said the theme of "Swachhata Pakhwada 2023" is garbage-free India.

Various activities have been conducted by villages and towns, schools, anganwadis, health centres, railway stations, airports and others focusing on awareness generation and improved cleanliness.

During the fortnight of activities, over 31 crore people have already participated in Plog runs, cleanliness drives and awareness programs, it said.

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