New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the target of a “Clean India" cannot be achieved by 1,000 Mahatma Gandhis, 1 lakh Narendra Modis and all the country’s chief ministers coming together but by the unity of its 125 crore people.
The prime minister was addressing an event at Vigyan Bhavan to mark three years of the Centre’s Swachh Bharat Mission, coinciding with Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary.
The country had come a long way since but a lot remained to be done before the Clean India target could be achieved, Modi said.
He noted that the media and members of civil society had played a key role in propagating the importance of cleanliness.
There was need for introspection if the programme had not gained the desired momentum notwithstanding the support from these sections, he stressed.
Modi said the issue of cleanliness should be looked at from the prism of women, who face difficulties due to lack of toilets, and lauded children for being the ambassador of the key programme.
“We cannot achieve the target (of a Clean India) even if 1,000 Mahatma Gandhis, one lakh Narendra Modis, chief ministers and all governments come together. We can achieve it (only) when all 125 crore countrymen come together," Modi told the gathering.
Stating that cleanliness was very crucial in India’s bid to become a superior country, Modi urged against politicisation of the issue. The prime minister also asked people to not discourage those who were practising cleanliness if the government was telling them to do so.
“There are several other issues to criticise Modi. (Some) people will give you thousand issues to do so...But do not discourage those who are maintaining cleanliness," he added.