The Swachh Bharat Week that began on the 25th of this month concludes today with Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh becoming the first States to declare all cities and towns in respective States as Open Defecation Free (ODF) and a few districts including Porbandar also declared ODF, on the 147th Birth Anniversary of Mahatama Gandhi which is also the second anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission.
Porbandar, the native district of Mahatma and all the 180 cities and towns in Gujarat were today declared ODF in the presence of Union Minister of Drinking Water & Sanitation Shri Naredra Singh Tomar, Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Vijay Rupani at a special programme in Porbandar.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Shri N.Chandrababu Naidu declared all 110 cities and towns in the State as ODF at a programme in Tirupati.
Addressing the participants of the Porbandar programme through a video-link, Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu said “Declaration of Porbandar district and other areas as Open Defecation Free today is an interim gift to Mahatma on the occasion of his birth anniversary today and the final gift of Swachh Bharat would be presented to Gandhiji on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary on October 2,2019. The Mood of Developing India (MODI) being strongly for sanitation, Swachh Bharat Mission is becoming a people’s movement and Swachh Bharat will be realized with people leading the grand India Sanitation Alliance of all stakeholders”.
In a similar address to Tirupati programme, Shri Naidu urged the people to become ‘Swachhagrahis’ to make the country free from poor hygiene in the spirit of ‘Satyagrahis’ who won political freedom for the country under the leadership of Gandhiji. He said that Rs.186 cr has been sanctioned today for Andhra Pradesh for focusing on solid waste management in urban areas.
Shri Naidu complimented Chief Ministers, concerned Ministers, Mayors, Councilors, Municipal Commissioners, the people and all others concerned for making urban areas of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh Open Defecation Free.
Speaking at a Short Film Festival on Sanitation, organized by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and National Film Development Corporation, Shri Naidu said “While Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi triggered interest of the people in Swachh Bharat, the Mission is a people’s movement and the credit for building Swachh Bharat would go to the people and all stakeholders including Chief Ministers, elected representatives of the people and others. Mind and body are inseparable like the Advaita. A clean mind resides only in a clean body. Clean individuals make clean environment. Individual actions result in collective effort needed for Swachh Bharat.”. He complimented young film makers who made 120 for making thought provoking short films on sanitation.
Shri Naidu also released a book ‘In the Footsteps of Mahatma : Gandhi and Sanitation’ published by the Publications Division of the Ministry of I&B. The book was authored by Prof. Sudarshan Iyangar, a veteran Gandhian.
On the last day of Swachh Bharat Week today, Shri Naidu also flagged off a Swachh Awareness Rally organized by NDMC. At a function, also organized by NDMC, Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh administered Swachhata Pledge at Connaught Place.
A Postal Stamp on Swachhat was released today by Shri Venkaiah Naidu and Minister of Communications Shri Manoj Sinha in New Delhi.
405 cities and towns have so far claimed to have become Open Defecation Free along with 20,000 of the 82,000 urban wards in the country. Another 334 cities and towns would become ODF by March next year.
Maharashtra, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram and other North-Eastern States are on course to declare all urban areas as ODF soon.