'Swachh Bharat' campaign: As it happened

Prime Minister Narendra Modi symbolically wielded the broom on Thursday to launch a nationwide campaign that aims to clean up India in five years. Modi chose the Valmiki colony in Delhi's heart - a place which was once home to Mahatma Gandhi - to do the sweeping in a small area for a minute, in the company of party colleagues and officials. Modi said that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan should clean up the country by 2019, the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Last Updated: Oct 02, 2014, 14:40 PM IST
'Swachh Bharat' campaign: As it happened

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi symbolically wielded the broom on Thursday to launch a nationwide campaign that aims to clean up India in five years. Modi chose the Valmiki colony in Delhi's heart - a place which was once home to Mahatma Gandhi - to do the sweeping in a small area for a minute, in the company of party colleagues and officials. Modi said that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan should clean up the country by 2019, the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

  • PM Modi flags off the Clean India walkathon at the Rajpath.
  • PM Modi flags off a walkathon as part of the Swachh Bharat Campaign.
  • After reading out the Clean India pledge, PM Modi ends his speech with slogans of 'Mahatma Gandhi Amar Rahein'.
  • We should pledge 'I will not dirty the place, nor will I let it be dirtied': PM.
  • PM Modi reads out the pledge of 'Swachh Bharat' campaign to countrymen.
  • Constructing more toilets is extremely important, feel pained when our women go in the open to relieve themselves: PM.
  • Don't trust me or my government, trust the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi: PM Modi.
  • Have also invited the entire cast of "Tarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashmah" and also Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, says PM Modi.
  • I have invited Mridula Sinha, Sachin Tendulkar, Baba Ramdev, Shashi Tharoor, Kamal Haasan, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Ambani, Salman Khan to take this campaign forward: PM
  • Actor Amir Khan shares the stage with PM Modi as he starts the Clean India pledge.
  • PM talks about starting a campaign on social media using MyGov - a Mobile Application.
  • "We reached Mars. No PM or Minister went. It's the people who did it, our scientists who did it. So can't we create a Clean India ?," asks PM.
  • I also thank the media for supporting this campaign, we all need to come together for it: Modi.
  • India can do it, the people of India can do it, says PM Modi.
  • I know there will be criticism in a few days – look what happened? But I have come prepared to face that: PM.
  • This work is not only about a 'prachar abhiyan.' It is a big effort but we have a lot of time: PM.
  • This government not trying to take credit for  Clean India campaign: PM Modi.
  • I will be happy if people doesn't litter paper on the road, says PM.
  • Why do we not pick up a paper if we see it littered on the road? asks PM
  • Be it Mandir, Masjid, Gurudwara or any place, we must take efforts to clean our surroundings,we must change: PM.
  • Is cleaning only the responsibility of the safai karamcharis? Do citizens have no role in this? We have to change this mindset, PM asks.
  • Gandhiji gave us the message of Clean India. We must respect his wishes, says PM.
  • 'Swachh Bharat' campaign logo isn't just a logo, through it Gandhiji is watching us: PM Modi.
  • Salute to former PM LB Shastri on his birthday today. Remembered for his decisive role as PM in India victory over Pak in 1965, says PM.
  • PM says Mahatma Gandhi's dream to see a clean India still remains unfulfilled.
  • PM Modi addresses the nation after the launch of his pet project, the 'Swachh Bharat' campaign.
  • PM Narendra Modi officially launches 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’
  • Union Minister Nitin Gadkari accompanies PM at Rajpath for the launch of 'Swachh Bharat Campaign'.
  • PM Narendra Modi arrives at the Rajghat to launch “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”.
  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh ‏tweeted, “Remembering Gandhiji and Shashtriji on their birth anniversary. Let us take a pledge today to make our country clean.”
  • Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan appeals to people to take the cleanliness pledge today. “This is a beautiful idea by our PM. We all must support this campaign of Swachh Bharat,” Aamir Khan said.
  • Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh also extended his support to the Clean India Mission.
  • PM Narendra Modi interacts with 'Safai Karamcharis' at Valmiki Basti.
  • PM Modi is cleaning the ground at Valmiki Sadan, a housing colony
  • PM Modi wields broom at the Valmiki Basti.

Earlier, PM  Modi reached Rajghat and paid homage to “Father of the Nation' Mahatma Gandhi. Former PM Manmohan Singh and several other senior leaders were also present at Rajghat. Modi also paid tribute to former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri who shares his birthday with Mahatma Gandhi today.

From there the PM's cavalcade moved towards the Valmiki Basti where he is expected to pick up the broom to officially kickoff  the Clean India Mission. The PM has chosen the Valmiki Basti area as a mark of respect to Mahatma Gandhi, who stayed there to dedicate public toilets to the residents of the locality.

Large scale preparations have been made in government offices and also by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders across the country to ensure success of "Clean India Mission.”

A large number of people are also expected to take cleanliness oath today. Government officials will be administered an oath today to improve cleanliness. BJP leaders said about 30,000 people are expected to take oath at Boat Club lawns here along with Modi.

The launch was preceded by cleanliness campaign week beginning September 25 which saw central government offices being spruced up by discarding or overhauling old furniture and sending old files to record rooms.

The launch of the mission comes in the wake of a perception about Indian cities not being very clean. A number of people in rural areas still do not have access to toilets. Some schools in the rural areas also do not have toilets.

According to the 2011 Census, only 32.70 percent of rural households had access to toilets. According to a UN report released this year, India continues to have the largest number of people in the world defecating in the open.

Modi has been talking of "Clean India" in his major speeches, and most people feel that personal push being given by him to sanitation would have an impact.

Modi has said a "clean India" will be the best tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019. The Father of the Nation had a penchant for cleanliness in his personal habits and strongly promoted it in society.

Union ministers are also making efforts to sensitise their staff and people about cleanliness. Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan Wednesday conducted surprise check in his ministry and expressed unhappiness over cleanliness in some rooms as also loose wires in corridors and upkeep of books in library. Paswan also picked up waste papers.

Home Secretary Anil Goswami also conducted surprise inspections to check cleanliness in home ministry offices and said such inspections will continue in the future. Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani Wednesday released a handbook - Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya - to encourage hygiene and cleanliness in schools across the country.

The handbook aims at promoting behavioural change in school children so that they become agents of change in the society. Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh urged staff of his ministry to devote two hours every week as "shramdan" (labour) to achieve the goal of the mission.

A Rashtrapati Bhavan release said the president's secretariat and attached offices will remain open Oct 2 in forenoon in connection with the Swachh Bharat Mission and officials and residents will be administered the 'Cleanliness Oath'.

Academic institutions, industry associations and the corporate sector are expected to pitch in enthusiastically in the mission. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in a release said, it has launched 'Mission-Sanitation of Schools (SoS)' to strengthen the Swachh Bharat initiative.

Sumit Mazumder, president designate, CII said they will work with industry and the government to make Swachh Bharat a reality. Heads of Delhi government schools attended an open house discussion at Thyagraj Stadium under the 'Swachh Vidyalaya-Swachh Delhi Abhiyan' and gave their suggestion for improving cleanliness.

Delhi BJP said there there is great enthusiasm among party workers and citizens of Delhi for the mission. Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay said about 30,000 citizens and school children shall take pledge with Modi. DTC has started special bus service from 5 am from all the corners of Delhi to ferry people to the Boat Club.

(With Agency inputs)