Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that a clean India was the best tribute that could be offered to Mahatma Gandhi's memory, even as various ministries in the government kicked off their respective Swachh Bharat Abhiyan drives.
"I am sure you have heard time and again that cleanliness is next to Godliness. Alas, things are often different when it comes to putting this into practice. On October 2, we are launching the Swachh Bharat Mission, a massive mass movement that seeks to create a clean India," Prime Minister Modi said.
"Cleanliness was very close to Mahatma Gandhi's heart. A clean India is the best tribute we can pay to Bapu when we celebrate his 150th birth anniversary in 2019. Mahatma Gandhi devoted his life so that India attains 'Swarajya'. Now the time has come to devote ourselves towards 'Swachchhata' (cleanliness) of our motherland," he added.
Urging the people to get involved in the cleanliness drives, Prime Minister Modi said, "I urge every one of you to devote at least hundred hours every year, that is two hours every week towards cleanliness. We can't let India remain unclean any longer. On October 2, I myself will set out with a broom and contribute towards this pious task."
The Prime Minister also urged leaders of various organisations to take part in the drive.
"I appeal to everyone, particularly political and religious leadership, mayors, sarpanchs and captains of industry to plan and wholeheartedly engage in the task of cleaning your homes, work places, villages, cities and surroundings. I request your active support and participation in our collective quest to make a Swachh Bharat," he said.
In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had talked of the Swachh Bharat campaign and called for India to be clean by October 2019, Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary.