Prime Narendra Modi on Saturday launched a week-long campaign to free India of garbage and stressed that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has been a big support in the fight against coronavirus. Delivering the inaugural address at the launch of the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra here, which was also attended by students, Modi urged children to follow social distancing norms and wear masks to guard against coronavirus.
Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra, an interactive center on Swachh Bharat Mission at Raj Ghat, the samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi. The center will be open to the public from August 9 following the guidelines for social distancing and hygiene. “Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra is a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s efforts towards cleanliness,” he added during his speech on Saturday. Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Rattan Lal Kataria were present on the occasion.
The first virtual tour of Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra will be organized on August 13 with Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Speaking at the inauguration of the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra, Modi said “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has been a big support in the fight against coronavirus.” He lauded every citizen for making “swachhata a Jan Andolan”.
“The installations at the event(Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra) will introduce future generations to the successful journey of the world’s largest behavior change campaign, the Swachh Bharat Mission,” a statement by Prime Minister’s Office said.
“Imagine the situation if a COVID-19-like pandemic had hit us before 2014. Due to a lack of toilets, could we have checked the spread of the infection? Had lockdown been possible when 60 percent of the population was forced to defecate in open,” the prime minister observed. The prime minister said the week-long campaign is to “honor swaraj (self-rule), meaning ‘gandagi Bharat choro saptah’ (garbage quit India week)”, and reminded that August 8 is the anniversary of Quit India Movement.
An official statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office named the drive as ‘Gandagi Mukt Bharat’ campaign. The prime minister urged officials at the district level to construct toilets in all the villages under them and to repair the existing facilities during the week. He said areas, where migrant workers from other states are residing, should get priority.