Press Trust of india

‘Swachhata hi Seva’: PM Modi pitches for blending well-being and health in cleanliness drive

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New Delhi: 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.

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!”

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 01 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 BJP chief J P Nadda participated in it in Delhi’s Jhandewalan area.

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 (CGDA) 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.

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.

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

Taking part in the drive in Delhi, Union Power Minister R K 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.

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.

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 wherever 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.

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.”

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.

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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