Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the Swachh Bharat campaign has become a "mass movement".
"India has accepted the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan (Clean India campaign) and it has become a people's movement due to the 'Siddhi' of Swachhagrahis (cleaniness seekers)," Modi said.
The prime minister was addressing an event at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi to mark three years of the Centre's Swachh Bharat Mission, coinciding with Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary.
Modi said the target of a 'Clean India' can be achieved only if 125 crore people come together, as it has now become their collective dream.
"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.
Modi said that Clean India Mission is about both 'Vyavastha' (systems) as well as 'Vichar' (thought process and mindset).
The prime minister also said that the "success of the Clean India Campaign is the success of the people of the country and not to his government".
Modi said that while India had come a long way since the campaign began, still a lot remained to be done before the Clean India target could be achieved.
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The prime minister said that we got independence through Swarajya, and to become the best country we have to use cleanliness as its biggest weapon.
"India faces challenges but that does not mean we run away from them. We will face them and work to overcome them," he said.
Modi also said that the children are the biggest ambassadors of the Clean India Mission.
The prime minister 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.
Modi also thanked people of the country for supporting the Clean India Mission and said, "I keep saying: This is the start. We should continue the momentum built by the movement."
Stating that cleanliness was very crucial in India's bid to become a better country, Modi urged against politicisation of the issue. The prime minister also asked people to not discourage those who were practicing 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," Modi said.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Oct 02, 2017 02:07 pm | Updated Date: Oct 03, 2017 09:11 am