With Gandhi Jayanti 2017 marking the third anniversary of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the Prime Minister felicitated many patriotic citizens who contributed to the cause
On the third anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission, the Swachh Bharat Diwas, and the conclusion of ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ fortnight, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi gave away the Swachh Bharat National Awards to winners at an award ceremony organized in New Delhi by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The winners were from essay, film, and painting competitions organized under ‘Swachh Sankalp se Swachh Siddhi’ campaign.
Marking the culmination of a national cleanliness campaign, “Swachhta Hi Seva”, the event was organized in response to the Prime Minister’s clarion call to Indian citizens to contribute towards the improvement of cleanliness and sanitation in the country in the days leading to Gandhi Jayanti.
Speaking about overcoming the challenges on the way of Swachh Bharat, the Prime Minister said the janbhagidari i.e. people’s participation is crucial. He said that the Swachhta goals can only be realized when 125 crore Indians come together for it. He said that the current accomplishments of the Swachh Bharat Mission are all because of the people of India and not the government. He said that it’s the people who have made this dream of Swachh Bharat their own.
Speaking about the criticisms of the Mission including the lack of use of toilets constructed, the PM said that such things can happen and he has personal experience of the same. Although the Mission has a long way to go, he said that people’s participation and personal responsibility of the concerned household must be highlighted to avoid such instances. He said that the vision of Swachh Bharat cannot be realized unless every household that has a toilet realizes that Swachhta is their responsibility as well.
Calling children and youth the best ambassadors of the movement, he congratulated the work done by the children and youth across the country including the participants of the Swachh Sankalp Se Swachh Siddhi competitions for inciting a thought revolution for Swachhta. He also appreciated the role of the civil society and the media in supporting this cause. He said that such work must continue in order to make the Swachhta dream a reality.
Speaking about the roles played by women in maintaining Swachhta in the household, the Prime Minister said that it was the responsibility of the society, and men, in particular, to ensure that women in the household have to access to functional and hygienic toilet facilities at home, public places and importantly, schools. Sharing the results of a study conducted by UNICEF, the Prime Minister said that the study revealed that an average poor family bears Rs 50,000 of additional costs annually in terms of medical costs stemming from poor sanitation.
Earlier, the PM inaugurated a multimedia exhibition at the venue that showed the various branches of the Swachhta Hi Seva campaign and the Swachh Bharat Mission’s progress so far.
Union Minister, MDWS, Uma Bharti congratulated the award recipients and urged them to continue inspiring others to take up similar initiatives in their regions. Sharing the status of Swachh Bharat, she said that 254,000 villages, 214 Districts, and 6 States have already been declared open defecation free (ODF) in rural India
The Minister of State, MDWS, SS Ahluwalia, addressed the audience and shared the sanitation coverage figures in rural India which have risen to 69% since the inception of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin.
MoS, MoHUA, Members of Parliament, senior officers of Government of India and State Government, several NCC Cadets and school children were also present on the occasion.
Lauding the Heroes
Lauding eminent personalities and groups that contributed towards the “Swachhta Hi Seva” campaign, the Prime Minister sent out a series of tweets recently. Swachhta Hi Seva is a nation-wide sanitation campaign that started on September 15th and culminated on October 2nd on Gandhi Jayanti. That day is also celebrated as the Swachh Bharat Divas.
Prime Minister Modi sent out a series of tweets appreciating Anupam Kher, Mohanlal, Chanda Kochhar, India Today Group, India TV News, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Indian Cricket Team, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Dettol India, NDTV, Reliance Foundation, Tata Trusts, Akshay Kumar and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, for their support and efforts towards the Swachh Bharat Mission.
Safaigiri Awards 2017
The India Today Group honoured 16 cleanliness warriors. Launched in 2015, the Safaigiri awards started after PM Modi nominated the India Today Group and its Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie as the ambassadors of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
Felicitating 16 cleanliness champions, the third edition of India Today Safaigiri Awards were held at a glittering event that saw Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu in attendance.
This year, the India Today Group also recognised women safai warriors who have brought about change in their village and district. Actor Bhumi Pednekar gave away special awards to these Swachhta hi Seva champions
The government felicitated the champions and main contributors of the Swachh Bharat objectives in urban areas on the third anniversary of the cleanliness and sanitation campaign.
The felicitation was given under seven categories for significant contribution towards furthering the Swachh Bharat Mission objective in urban areas.
Among the winners is a Delhi-based Facebook citizen group – ‘My Delhi Keep It Clean’ – which is being awarded for promoting efforts to clean public places.
The ministry also felicitated 20 individuals and agencies in seven categories for their crucial contributions towards furthering SBM in urban areas.
Fertiliser Cooperative KRIBHCO has conferred the Swachhata Award for marketing of compost made from municipal solid waste.
Richmond Park, located in Gurugram’s DLF Phase-IV, was chosen for the award for exemplary decentralized waste management initiative through waste segregation at source, in the RWAs category.
The Ministry said that the Resident Welfare Association (RWA) Federation of Mysuru has shown the way in a zero-waste effluent management system. Roseland Housing Society, Pune also received the award for waste segregation initiative.
Kasturba Gandhi Balika Awasiya Vidyalaya, Ambikar received the award in the schools and colleges category while Swachh Ambikapur Sahakari Samiti was chosen in the self-help group category for women empowerment and livelihood generation by converting garbage into wealth.
Pemayangste Monastery in Sikkim was felicitated in the category of religious institutions for being a Zero-waste institution.
‘No Food Waste’ initiative of Coimbatore was selected in the Innovative Practices category for an end-to-end cycle to manage and reduce food waste.
PM felicitates Bihar school
Two students from Bihar - Vikas Prasad and Chandrakanta Naina - were felicitated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the third anniversary of the “Swachh Bharat Mission” at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The two students received the National Swachh Bharat Award for the essay writing competition that was organized by the Union Ministry for Drinking Water and Sanitation under the ‘Swachh Sankalp Se Swachh Siddhi’ programme.
Vikas is a class 8 student from the Middle School-Bilauti in Bhojpur district and Naina is a class 9 student from Manohar High School in Baijnathpur in Sahara district. The duo got the first position in essay writing in junior and senior categories, respectively.
‘What can I do for making India clean?’ was the theme of the competition and the winners received Rs 1 lakh and a memento from the PM.
“It is a proud moment for my family and school. The PM asked me about my school and told me to work hard. He was happy to know that someone from Bihar defeated other participants and ranked first in writing. His speech gives me a hope and positive energy to work hard for my state,” Naina said in an interview
Vikas said his dream to meet the PM was fulfilled on Monday because of his writing skill. “We not only study at school but also clean it every day. We also motivate others to keep their surroundings clean and construct the toilet in their homes. I had written all my concerns in my essay,” Vikas added.
The competition had various elimination rounds at school, inter-school, district and national levels. The essay competitions were held in Bihar under the guidance of Bihar Education Project Council between August 16 and September 15.
PM’s Address to the Nation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on the third anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission on Swachh Bharat Divas – the fortnight of the Swachhta Hi Seva campaign.
Mentioning the significance of October 2nd, the Prime Minister said that the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri give us the occasion to introspect on how far we have travelled towards our goal of Swachh Bharat.
Recalling how the Swachh Bharat Mission has initiated three years ago amidst major criticism. He said that he has always been convinced that the path shown by Mahatma Gandhi cannot be wrong. He added that even if there are challenges on this path, they are not enough to make Indians shy away from them.
Lauding the people, the Prime Minister said that today, people are expressing their desire for cleanliness in unison. Asserting that Swachhta cannot be realized through the efforts of politicians and governments, he said that it can only be achieved through the efforts of every Indian. He mentioned how Jan Bhagidari must be appreciated since Swachhta Abhiyan has transformed into a mass social movement. He said the achievements of the mission till date were all because of the contributions of the Swachhgrahi people of India.
He said, “If Swaraj was achieved by the Satyagrahis, Shrestha Bharat would be achieved by the Swachhagrahis”.
The Prime Minister gave away awards to winners of national essay, painting and film competitions, and also visited a digital display gallery.
Mahatma Statue in Rajghat!
A 1.80metre bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled by Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu
The Samadhi of the Father of the Nation in the nation’s capital, Rajghat, for the first time, acquired a new feature that would appeal to a large number of visitors in the future. Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu unveiled a 1.80-metre tall bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the 148th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation. Sculpted by renowned Ram Sutar, the statue is installed in the parking area of Rajghat Samadhi Complex at a cost of Rs 8.73 lakhs. Mounted on a 2 feet high pedestal clad with granite, there is a message of Gandhi inscribed “Be the Change You Wish To See” on the front side of the pedestal.
Rajghat is visited by over 10,000 people daily including foreign dignitaries that pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi at the black stone platform symbolizing the place where the Mahatma was cremated. This statue would become another spot where tourists could pay respects to this great soul.
An interpretation centre was also inaugurated by the Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu in the Parking Area of the complex. The facility enables interactive lessons on the life and times of the Mahatma via LED screens. Visitors are able to watch films, view live events, and even listen to the speeches of Mahatma Gandhi besides participating in quizzes and using earphones for interaction.
To enhance the visitor experience, the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs and the Rajghat Samadhi Samiti have undertaken several works at Rajghat to enhance visitor experience in the last three years.
Over 800 people of different ages, nationalities and walks of life participated in a ‘Gandhi March’ held in The Hague, the seat of government of the Netherlands, on Sunday as part of a ‘Follow the Mahatma’ campaign organised to mark the International Day of Non-Violence.
The day’s proceedings began with the Netherlands Marathi Mandal entertaining participants with traditional dhol and dances inside the compound of the iconic Peace Palace, home to the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Deputy Mayors of The Hague, Rabin Baldewsingh and Karsten Klein as well as Ambassador of India to the Netherlands, VenuRajamony made brief speeches flagging off the march. A spark taken from the eternal ‘World Peace flame’ that burns outside the Peace Palace, (created using a flame from the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat in Delhi) was handed over to the Deputy Mayors and Ambassador VenuRajamony, who led the march along with Ambassadors of many countries, Chan Santokhi, MP, and leader of Opposition from Suriname and leaders of the Indian community, according to a press release from the Indian Embassy, The Hague.
The colourful march guided by motorcycle outriders in front and with mounted police on horses at the back wound through the streets of the city for about an hour before concluding at the historic Grote Kerk or Big Church of The Hague.
The marchers wore T shirts specially designed for the occasion with the ‘Follow the Mahatma’ campaign logo of Gandhiji walking with a stick in one hand and a cycle in the other. They also carried posters and shouted slogans advocating non-violence and peace as well as the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.
Other dignitaries who took part in the activities included the Ambassadors of South Africa, UK, Austria, Spain, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Political leader of Indian origin and celebrity fitness advocate and inspirational speaker MilindSoman, Theo Henrar, Chairman of Tata Steel Nederland, Prof Vinod Subramaniam, Rector Magnificus of Vrije University in Amsterdam, former Members of the Netherlands Parliament R.Ramlal and Tanya Jednand Singh.
On reaching the Grote Kerk, the marchers paid respects to a bicycle personally used by Mahatma Gandhi and sent to the Netherlands by the Gandhi Memorial Trust of India as a special gesture, in view of the popularity of cycling in the Netherlands. The cycle will be part of an exhibition on ‘Gandhi, King and Mandela’ in Amsterdam untill early next year. An excerpt of Philp Glass’s masterpiece opera titled ‘Satyagraha’ inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent resistance was performed by artists from the Korzo Theatre and Kwekers in de Kunst. The excerpt which portrayed the conversation between Arjuna and Krishna in the Mahabharata was performed in a new adaptation with modern Indian dance.
A new book in Dutch titled “Gandhi -An illustrated biography” by Indian author Pramod Kapoor and published by Lannoo of Belgium was released during the event. The celebrations ended with a performance of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite songs ‘Lead, kindly light,’ and ‘Abide with me’ as well as the famous civil rights song ‘We shall overcome’ by a group from the American Protestant Church of The Hague.
A multinational meeting will be held in the Peace Palace by the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation with eminent speakers talking about the message of Mahatma Gandhi.
Events are also being organised by the Indian community around the statues of Mahatma Gandhi in The Hague, Utrecht and Amsterdam while Indian students are taking the lead to organise a Cleanliness drive in Maastricht University and a discussion in Technical University, Delft.
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