'Swachh Bharat Mission' or 'Clean India Campaign' from the Valmiki Basti in New Delhi on Thursday. Addressing the nation at the launch, Modi asked India's 1.25 billion people to join the 'Swachh Bharat Mission' and promote it to everyone.
After paying tribute at the memorials of Mahatma Gandhi and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on their birth anniversaries, Modi himself swept a pavement at Valmiki Basti, a colony of sanitation workers before the formal launch of the 'Clean India' drive at Rajpath. While launching the mission at Mandir Marg, he also made a surprise visit at the local police station to check on its cleanliness.
Modi said, "Today is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhiji and Lal Bahadur Shastriji. We have gained freedom under leadership of Gandhiji, but his dream of clean India is still unfulfilled."
He added, "Swachh Bharat Campaign logo is not just a logo, through it Gandhiji is watching us and we all should clean India. I am not claiming that the newly elected government is doing everything. Be it temples, mosques, gurudwaras or any place, we must take efforts to clean our surroundings. Cleanliness is not only the responsibility of the 'safaai kaamgar', it is the responsibility of 125 crore Indians. If Indians can reach Mars at a cheap cost, can we not clean our neighbourhoods?"
Giving credit to previous governments, Modi said, "I do not make any claim that only the newly elected government has done everything. All governments have done something or the other to achieve cleanliness in the country; I greet all of them for this. Swachh Bharat mission is beyond politics. It is inspired by patriotism and not politics."
Thanking the media for supporting this campaign, he said, "I know people will criticise me in the next few days, but to clean India I am ready to face the criticism."
Stating that this campaign cannot be done by only the government or the ministers, Modi said, "The work is to be done by all Indians. This campaign is for 1.2 billion people and I repeat it 1.2 billion times. This work is not only about a 'prachar abhiyan'. It is a big effort but we have a lot of time."