Stating that “swachhagraha” (insistence on sanitation) has helped in the fight against Covid-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched a week-long sanitation drive called ‘Gandagi Mukt Bharat’ and urged district officials to construct community toilets across the country.
Speaking after inaugurating the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra in New Delhi, Modi lauded the people of India for making sanitation a “jan andolan” (mass movement). “I urge the responsible officers of each district to start a campaign for construction of community toilets in all the villages of their districts during this week,” he said. “It should be done on the priority basis where labourers from other states are living,” he added.
Modi said, “Just imagine, what would have happened if a pandemic like coronavirus had come before 2014? In the absence of toilets, could we control the infection? Would a lockdown-like system have been possible when 60 percent of India’s population was forced to defecate in the open?… Swachhagraha has given us a lot of support in the fight against corona,” he said.
Recalling the Quit India Movement launched on August 8, 1942, Modi said, “The evils that make the country weak (should) quit India… With this thinking, a comprehensive ‘Quit India’ campaign has been going on in the country for the last six years.”
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