Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said India is being praised across the globe for "revolutionary changes" brought in by the cleanliness drive launched by the Narendra Modi government.
Addressing a 'Swachhata hi Seva' (cleanliness is service) event at Khatanga in Namkum near Ranchi, Mr Naidu appreciated the Narendra Modi government's initiative in the field of cleanliness and said that it has really become a people's movement.
He said, "Our country should first of all be clean. Revolutionary changes have come and it is being discussed across the world."
Mr Naidu said that he recently visited several countries in the American continent and India was being appreciated for its efforts for cleanliness as well as for its move for modernisation and infrastructure creation.
Stressing upon prevention of diseases, he said cleanness is required for this.
Referring to a UNICEF study, the vice president said that cleanliness could save Rs 50,000 per family per year. In India alone, one lakh children suffer from diseases such as diarrhoea due to poor hygiene condition.
He said that the call of 'Swachch Bharat' has turned out to be a people's movement, adding community cleanliness cannot be confined to government programme and it has got people's acceptance.
If every individual takes a vow to keep clean one's house, office, parks or common places and pick up trash and put it in garbage bin, it will become 'Samudaik Swachhata' (community cleanliness).
He referred to Asian Development Research Institute's study in Jharkhand that there has been increase in awareness among women's group about community and individual sanctity.
The women also have become aware about sanctity at home, Mr Naidu said, adding there have been a 23 per cent decrease in diarrhoea cases and a 10 per cent fall in anaemia. This reflects optimism in the future, he added.
He also suggested geo-tagging of newly constructed toilets.
Regular water supply is necessary condition for announcement of open defecation free, Mr Naidu said, adding local units should regularly campaign for awareness.
It is better to check by an independent agency before announcing ODF, he said.
Expressing concern over manual scavenging, Mr Naidu said this inhuman custom should end immediately.
On the occasion, the vice president also enquired about the community work being done by women self-help groups in Jharkhand.