Following up on the Prime Minister’s call on August 15 to eliminate single-use plastic in the country, a committee headed by Narendra Modi on Friday decided that a major initiative on restricting the use of plastic and handling of plastic waste will be kicked off on October 2, marking the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
A meeting of the Executive Committee under the chairmanship of the PM, for the commemoration of Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, was held at the Parliament Library Building. It was attended by the Ministers for Home, Defence, Finance, HRD, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Culture, and the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.
Eight eminent Gandhians, who are members of the Committee, were also present.
A Jan Andolan to eliminate use of plastic will be kicked off with the birth anniversary celebrations, and various ministries will take up different initiatives from next month.
Between September 11 and October 2, the government has planned a plastic use and waste awareness campaign across 4,000 towns and 6 lakh villages. The Centre, along with states, will prepare plans and implement collection and disposal of plastic waste in tandem with the awareness campaign.
On October 2, a nationwide ‘shramdaan’ for plastic waste will be organised in all gram panchayats, urban local bodies, schools and highways. The Committee also decided that a ‘grand function’ will be held at Sabarmati riverfront, which runs along Sabarmati ashram in Ahmedabad, during which a commemorative coin and postage stamps will be released.
The October 2 campaign will in turn kick off a larger campaign till Diwali (October 27) on the segregation, transportation and recycling/disposal of waste. The matter will be highlighted at the UN conference on September 24.
The government will provide special remission to jail inmates from October 2 to January 30, 2020, Gandhi busts will be unveiled in 54 countries, all iconic buildings across the country will be lit up on Gandhi Jayanti, light and sound shows will be held at India Gate in Delhi, Rajkot and Guwahati, 1,50,000 cyclists will cycle across India as a part of the celebrations, and a Gandhi-themed national handicrafts fair will be held from October 1 to 15. In addition, 1 lakh students will be roped in to assemble solar lamps.