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PM’s call for Ek Tareekh Ek Ghanta Ek Saath could be world’s largest voluntary effort for a cleaner India: Hardeep S Puri

Over 6.4 lakh sites have been adopted for shramdaan from urban & rural India: Hardeep S Puri

New Delhi : Ek Tareekh Ek Ghanta Ek Saath” is specifically about hard core cleanliness activities – shramdaan for swachhata. This is not about pledges, plog runs, rangoli competitions, wall paintings, nukkad nataks. Shramdaan is only for cleanliness drives across the nation”, emphasised Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs  and Petroleum & Natural Gas.  On 105th episode of Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister, appealed for 1 hour of shramdaan for swachhata at 10 am on 1st Oct by all citizens collectively as a ‘swachhanjali’ to Bapu on the eve of his Jayanti. This mega cleanliness drive calls upon citizens from all walks of life to join in actual cleaning activities at public places like market spaces, railway tracks, water bodies, tourist locations, places of worship etc. resulting in visible cleanliness.

While interacting with media on ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ today, he said that over 6.4 lakh sites have been adopted for shramdaan from urban & rural India. The mega cleanliness drive aims to clean Garbage Vulnerable Points, railway tracks and stations, airports and surrounding areas, roadsides – Stretches of National & State Highways, water bodies, ghats, slums, under bridges, market spaces, backlanes, places of worship, tourist spots, bus stands/toll plazas, zoos and wildlife areas, gaushalas, hills, beaches, ports, residential areas, anganwadis, schools/colleges etc.

To facilitate the swachhata events, ULBs, towns, gram panchayats, ministries have added events for swachhata shramdaan on the Swachhata Hi Seva – Citizens Portal Citizens can view the cleanliness events nearest to them on this specially-architectured IT platform and join to participate. At various locations of cleanliness, citizens can click pictures during the shramdaan for swachhata and upload on the portal. The portal also hosts a section inviting citizens, influencers to join the andolan and lead the people’s movement by becoming Swachhata Ambassadors.

The Minister informed the media that a large number of Resident Welfare Associations have come forward to volunteer for shramdaan in nearly 1 lakh residential areas while village communities have come forward to adopt around 35,000 anganwadi centres all over the nation. NGOs, market associations, SHGs, faith groups, trade bodies, private sector etc have come forward to do shramdaan in 22,000 market areas, 10,000 water bodies, nearly 7,000 bus stands/toll plazas, nearly 1000 gaushalas, nearly 300 zoos & wildlife areas and various locations that will have mega cleanliness drives in rural and urban India.

Adding further, the Minister said that in a first of its kind, army, navy, air force will be coming together with civilians to clean up various garbage vulnerable places, railway tracks, heritage buildings, step-wells, forts. Large stretches of the National Highway is being adopted for cleanliness by lead groups like Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth and other local communities. Many coastal regions will be taken up for swachhata by eminent groups led by Afroz Shah and Sudrashan Patnaik. Sulabh international has come forward to adopt Community and Public Toilets for cleaning on the 1st of Oct.

Shri Hardeep Singh Puri noted that various associations have come forward to clean museums, monuments and forts across the nation. As part of the cleanliness drive in schools/colleges, Mata Amritaanandamayi’s Amma Foundation will offer shramdaan for swachhata in schools across the country. Pradeep Sangwan’s Healing Himalayas has come forward to clean the Himalayan trail in Uttarakhand. ISKCON Temple association has come forward to adopt temple areas for cleanliness drives & Ramakrishna Math will be adopting math areas for shramdaan. Other organizations like FICCI, CII, CREDAI, NGOs like Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva, Lions Club, Rotary club, UNICEF, Aga Khan foundation, etc. will join the action on Oct 1st.

Among the States, Uttar Pradesh has adopted over 1 lakh sites for cleanliness drives, whereas Maharashtra will be conducting cleanliness drives in over 62,000 locations with citizens joining the shramdaan at beaches, religious places, schools/colleges, water bodies etc. from Telangana are targeting to clean temples of historical significance across the State. Madhya Pradesh is all set to spring in action on 1st Oct from nearly 57,000 locations, whereas Andhra Pradesh & Gujarat have planned shramdaan in nearly 40,000 & 35,000 locations respectively. Union Cabinet Ministers, MPs, several Chief Ministers along with Mayors, Sarpanches and political leadership will join the citizen-led mega cleanliness drive too.

In Delhi, under the NDMC, NGO Sri Sri Art of Living & Chintan will be joining the shramdaan for cleaning slums and other areas. Over 500 sites under MCD have also been adopted for cleanliness drives.

Referring to the PM’s clarion call for Swachhata 9 years ago in 2014, the Minister said that in response to the PM’s call citizens from all walks of life reciprocated with immense enthusiasm taking the ownership for Swachh Bharat. As a result, swachhata became a national behavior and Swachh Bharat Mission became a household name, he said .

On the  Prime Minister’s call for Ek Tareekh Ek Ghanta Ek Saath, in a unique effort citizens will be leading mega cleanliness drives in what could be world’s largest voluntary effort for a cleaner India., Shri Puri added.

Like previous years, this year too, Swachhata Pakhwada – Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS) 2023 is being organized by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) & Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) in collaboration with all other Central ministries. The Pakhwada was jointly launched on 15th Sept with Minister of Panchayati Raj & Rural Development, Shri Giriraj Singh, Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri through a virtual Samvad with DMs, Municipal Commissioners and all States/UTs.

The theme of Swachhata Pakhwada 2023 is Garbage Free India. Various activities have been conducted by all villages and towns, schools, anganwadis, health centres, railways stations, airports etc. focusing on awareness generation and improved cleanliness. During the fortnight of activities, over 31 crore people have already participated in plog runs, cleanliness drives, awareness programs etc.

Over 31 crore citizens from across the nation have participated in the Pakhwada and joined the jan andolan for swachhata. Various cities conducted plog runs, swachhata rallies, pledges, awareness programs, nukkad nataks, rangoli competitions, wall arts, beach clean ups, cleanliness drives at iconic tourist spots, legacy waste sites, water bodies etc. Nearly 5000 public places, 1000 garbage vulnerable sites, over 500 beaches, 600 water  bodies, over 300 tourist spots have been cleaned during the Pakhwada.