In his Mann ki baat speech, PM Modi urged the creation of a clean environment (File Photo)
More than 2,30,000 villages have been declared 'open defecation free' and about 67 percent population has toilets now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today and asked people to undertake 'Cleanliness is Service' campaign ahead of the Gandhi Jayanti.
He asked the people to undertake the campaign to give a push to the creation of an environment of cleanliness while marking the third anniversary of the launch of 'Swachch Bharat' programme.
"The campaign for Cleanliness which was initiated three years ago will be marking its third anniversary on the 2nd October. The positive results are now being seen," Modi said in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat'.
"Toilets have increased from 39 percent to almost 67 percent of the population. More than 2,30,000 villages have declared themselves 'open defecation free'," said the prime minister who had launched the campaign after coming to power.
He said the upcoming Gandhi Jayanti should be celebrated as "Swachch Do Aktoobar, Clean 2nd October".
"To this end, beginning 15th September, let us take the pledge of 'Swachchta Hi Seva' (cleanliness is service). Take one or another step towards cleanliness. Make your effort to be a part of it. You will see how this Gandhi Jayanti shines," Modi told the people.
"You can imagine the inner bliss of paying homage to our revered Bapu, with 15 days of this cleanliness campaign 'Swachchta Hi Seva', when we celebrate Gandhi Jayanti on the 2nd of October," he said.
He said the campaign should be undertaken on the lines of the age-old belief 'Jal Seva, Yahi Prabhu Seva' (service of water is the service to God).
He suggested that the campaign, in the form of a movement, could be undertaken utilising the festivals like Diwali, Navratra and Durga Puja.
"Donate labour....I urge all NGOs, schools, colleges, social, cultural and political leaders, people in the government, collectors and sarpanches, to begin creating an environment of cleanliness at least 15 days ahead of Gandhi Jayanti so that it turns out to be the 2nd October of Gandhi's dreams," Modi said.
He said social media could also be used to push the campaign which can also be undertaken in the form of essay competitions in any language, short film competitions and painting competitions.
The best three participants - three at the district level, three at the state level will be given prizes, the prime minister said, inviting one and all to join the 'Cleanliness Campaign'.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)