New Delhi: Urging people to take inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi on cleanliness, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said the Father of the Nation`s vision of `clean India` goes beyond a set of physical targets for construction of toilets.
"Gandhiji led the masses of the country on the path of `Satyagraha` towards freedom and for him, cleanliness was as important as political freedom," the minister said.
The clean India campaign needs enlightened individual actions to uphold every fellow citizen`s right to live in a clean environment, the minister said, while addressing a two-day international seminar on `Clean and Capable India of Gandhi`s Dreams`.
Naidu said the government was keen to make the `Swachh Bharat Mission` into a `Swachhagraha` movement with people`s participation to make the country clean in the next five years.
The minister observed that the country was still to realise Gandhi`s dream of a clean India which was envisioned by him.
Naidu also noted that poor sanitation was the cause of about 80 percent of diseases besides costing about six percent of the country`s GDP every year.
He said the central government was inspired by Gandhi`s philosophy of inclusive development based on the involvement and empowerment of every individual for collective advancement and has launched various initiatives like the Make-in-India campaign and skill development.
The seminar, which was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee earlier in the day, is being attended by over 1,000 Gandhians from India and abroad, representatives of Gandhian institutions, scholars and research students.
Naidu also released a magazine on Gandhi - `Rajghat Samadhi Patrika` - on the occasion.