New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan today said the 'Swachh Bharat' mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is of special significance for his ministry and a "blessing in disguise" for the people as cleanliness and health go hand-in-hand.
"Today is an important day especially for the Health Ministry and it will be a blessing in disguise, as I believe that by ensuring cleanliness at our homes, workplaces and surroundings we can control the spread of diseases and check out-of-pocket expenditure.
"Both cleanliness and health go hand-in-hand," Vardhan remarked as he administered 'Swachh Bharat' pledge to officers and staff of his ministry at Nirman Bhawan here today.
Vardhan recalled the time when Polio eradication campaign was launched in Delhi, which later went pan-India, and how everyone had pledged to make the the country polio free.
"What had as an idea started 20 years ago and seemed to be a herculean task to achieve has been accomplished and is a success today," Vardhan said.
"Today again, we have to take the message of our prime minister to every individual and every home to make it a mass movement," he said.
Laying emphasis on the importance of the campaign, the minister said cleanliness is a requisite to curb diseases like dengue, malaria and other water-borne communicable ailments which have "direct connection with hygiene and cleanliness."
Dismissing concerns that the zeal among people for the campaign might fade away with time, Vardhan said that "people forget their responsibility when the man sitting on the top forgets his responsibility."
"Yeh sirf ek naara nahi hai, ye apne andar ke Naarayan ko jaagrit karke usko desh aur samaaj ke hit me laane ka ek zariyan hai (It is not just a slogan, it is about invoking God in all of us and utilising it for the benefit of society and nation," he said.
The Health Minister visited the New Delhi Railway Station in the morning and participated in the cleanliness drive there along with Union Minister for Railways DV Sadananda Gowda.
Vardhan also undertook an unscheduled inspection at Lady Hardinge Hospital, taking the staff there by surprise. He pointed out some anomalies and also wiped some water off the floor of a hospital corridor.
He also laid the foundation stone of Parmanand Special Surgery Hospital.