Following is English rendering of the text of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s address at the launch of “Swachh Bharat Mission” or Clean India Campaign at Rajpath on October 2, 2014, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: PM Narendra Modi launches Clean India campaign
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi
“Bharat Mata ki Jai, Long Live Mahatma Gandhi, Long Live Lal Bahadur Shastri.
My Colleagues from Central Government, Shri Venkaiah Naidu ji and Shri Nitin Gadkari ji, dignitaries and my young friends.
Today is 2nd October, birth anniversaries of our Pujya Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shashtri ji. Lal Bahadur Shastri gave us the Mantra of Jai Jawan Jai Kisan. Indian Farmers filled the granaries in reply to that exhortation. Pujya Bapu gave us the message of ‘Quit India- Clean India’. Our countrymen, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, freed the nation from colonialism. Bapu’s dream of cleanliness, however, remains unfulfilled.
Here, we had called for a logo and an idea through crowd-sourcing, asked the people for a tagline. Bhai Anant of Maharashtra and sister Bhagyashri won the contest. It was right to the point. I can see, that through these glasses Gandhiji is looking and asking whether we have cleaned India or not. This is not just a logo. Through these glasses he is looking, asking – what have you done? What will you do and how? By when will you do it?
This is the message of the logo that has Mahatma Gandhi’s glasses. They give us the message of Clean India. I compliment the creator of this logo – Shri Anant. One tag line has been given by Bhagyashri- ‘one step towards cleanliness’. Not a big deal, just a step. For this I compliment Bhagyashri.
My dear countrymen,
Today from this platform with all the authenticity, and purity at my command, India Gate is right in front of me where flame of our martyrs is burning, I swear by that, I am not making a political statement. All Governments of this country must have done their bit for this cause. Many social, cultural and religious leaders must have contributed towards this task. There may have been different people, different forms of programme, I salute all of them. I have to take this series forward.
I don’t make any claim that the new Government is doing everything. I acknowledged all previous Governments from the Red Fort also. Today, from this august platform I convey my respect to all Governments whether of Centre or of State, municipal bodies, social organizations, Sarvodaya leaders, Seva Dal workers. As this holy mission is starting today, I salute every one of them and pray to all countrymen to start this programme.
Sometimes I feel that the job of getting rid of filth belongs to Safai karmchari only? Isn’t it the duty of all the 125 crore countrymen? Will we keep on imposing everything on them only? Something good happens or bad, will be keep on blaming them only? We have to change this situation. Like all 125 crore Indians the Prime Minister is also first son of Bharat Mata and Prime Minister later. Therefore, as the children of this mother, all of us are responsible that we should not keep our country like this. It may be village neighborhood, home family, school and college, Mandir, Masjid or Gurudwara; how can we keep it dirty? Wherever we see filth or see someone throwing papers why don’t we feel like picking that up? I know this will not be accomplished only by publicity campaign. Old habits take time to change. It’s a difficult task, I know. But we have till 2019 when we will observe 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
I am grateful to my media friends who are spreading this message. If we collectively make it a people’s movement then I don’t see any reason why we will not be counted among the clean cities and nations of the world. India can also do it, Indians can do it. If Indians can reach Mars with minimum expense then can’t they clean their neighborhood? No Prime Minister or Minister took us to Mars. It was done by the scientists; children of Mother India. Cleanliness will also be achieved together.
I know, in coming days I will be criticized. Look what has been achieved? I understand lot of criticism will come my way. However, I am ready to face all the criticism for making Mother India pristine once again. I have come with the determination that 125 crore Indians will not let Mother India remain dirty. We will not leave any stone unturned to fulfill Bapu’s dreams.
I have decided to start a movement in social media also. It is there on MyGov.in website also. A new website has been created on ‘Clean India’. Work has been started on Facebook and Twitter also. #MycleanIndia was started today. I appeal all the countrymen to upload photographs of garbage, then clean that and upload the video and the photographs of the cleaned place.
I also appeal to media. There are many youngsters, organizations in every nook and corner of the country. They are doing the work of cleanliness way before I became the Prime Minister. They should be brought to the limelight by Media. All common people who work for cleanliness should be highlighted. All of us should create an inspiring environment. Finger pointing will not help as I told earlier this is beyond politics. This is a work solely inspired by patriotism. We will do it with patriotic feeling. There is no place for politics.
That is why I say there are many organizations and social and cultural bodies those who are working in their own way. I have seen many villages where Sarpanch is so alert and villagers keep the village in exemplary cleanliness. Many people are like that. Some of the teachers take lot of interest in keeping the premises clean, the atmosphere is kept very pure.
When we come to India Gate and go towards Rashtrapati Bhawan it feels nice to see the clean surroundings. Should not every corner of India be this clean? Isn’t this our social duty? We will do a great disservice by treating it politically or considering it a photo opportunity. Mahatma Gandhi did not go to every locality to clean up but his commitment created awareness towards cleanliness in entire India.
We also have to do it together. Wherever we are, we should do it. I believe we will be able to clean our Mother India. This is a work for 125 crore Indians. In those 125 crore Indians there is a person called Modi. Not that Modi is alone but there are 125 crore Indians and I am saying it 125 crore times. This work is not only for Government or for Ministers, neither is this work only of social organizations and devoted social workers. This is a mass movement. The more we associate this with common person, the more are the chances of success.
Today Navarati is coming to an end. Tomorrow we will celebrate Vijayadashmi. I convey my best wishes to all countrymen for Vijayadashmi tomorrow.
Today, I have started a programme on social media. I have invited 9 people to come to public place and work for cleanliness. I am sure that those 9 people whom I have invited will surely do this work. Not only this, I have requested them that they should also invite 9 other people. Then 9 more.
I request you also that you also upload videos of your cleanliness projects and this chain of 9 should carry on. Today, I have invited Goa Governor Hon’ble Mridula Sinha, Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar, Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev, Congress leader Shri Shashi Tharoor jee, Shriman Kamal Hasan, Shriman Salman Khan, sister Priyanka Chopra and the entire team of Tarak Mehta ka Ulta Chashma. I have told them to push this through their and other serials. Our film industry will also see, in last fifty years there have been many movies where they were episodes related to cleanliness. We need to encourage this and do our duty.
Brothers and sisters there is a startling evaluation of WHO – they say that the diseases created by lack of cleanliness results in additional loss of 6500 rupees to every Indian. Due to illness someone is not able to drive taxi or auto rickshaw or not able to distribute newspapers or not able to deliver milk. This is just the average of the total loss.
If we take out affluent households then burden on poor people will go up to 12-15 thousand. If we just spread cleanliness, our poor will be saved 6500 rupees. This will save him from diseases and unemployment. This movement is very important for the health of the poor. Serving Mother India is serving the poorest.