President Ram Nath Kovind has said that the biggest success of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is the change in the thinking of the countrymen. Addressing Swachh Amrit Mahotsav in New Delhi today, Mr Kovind said, today people can witness that this change has happened on a very wide scale and and has reached the families. He congratulated the people of the country as there has been a massive change in thought process towards cleanliness.
Quoting Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, Mr Kovind said that the cleanliness should be the top priority. He said, this vision of Gandhi Ji was taken forward by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through Swachh Bharat Mission as a mass movement. He said, making the country clean is the best tribute to the Freedom Fighters who fought for India’s Independence. The President said, this year’s Swachh Survekshan Awards have special significance as the nation is celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. He expressed happiness that the award was given taking feedback of over five crore people and through public participation.
Speaking on the occasion, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had flagged off Swachh Bharat Mission from the ramparts of Red Fort on 15th August 2014 and since then Urban India has become Open Defecation Free, ODF with 35 States and four thousand 371 Urban Local Bodies completely ODF. He said, Government has gone beyond the mission mandate to create more than three thousand 300 ODF Plus cities with hygienic community and public toilets and nearly one thousand cities ODF Plus Plus with with complete Faecal sludge management.
The Minister said, Municipal Solid Waste processing has gone nearly fourfold from 18 per cent in 2014 to 70 per cent today. He said, nearly one lakh ragpickers have been integrated into the waste management chain in the cities and more than 5.5 lakh sanitary workers have been provided access to various Government welfare schemes. Mr Puri said, Swachh Bharat Mission has taken the shape of a people’s movement.
On the occasion, the President awarded Indore as India’s cleanest city for 5th time in a row. Surat and Vijaywada was given the 2nd and third Best Clean city award. Chhattisgarh was given the cleanest state award. Jharkhand was given 2nd Best Clean State award. Varanasi was given the award for cleanest Ganga town.