Kirnahar (WB): Calling upon all Indians to get involved in the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan', President Pranab Mukherjee today said the government alone cannot do it without people's involvement.
Flagging off the mission here in Birbhum district, Mukherjee called upon the people to get themselves involved in the mission of making India clean saying that it is not possible for the government alone to accomplish the tasks of eradication of illiteracy, bringing cleanliness, keeping the environment green and maintaining ecological and environmental balance.
In order to attain these goals, involvement of the larger and the responsible sections of the society along with the government is very much necessary, he said. Underscoring the importance of cleanliness, Mukherjee referred to a lesson he learnt when he was a student of Shib Chandra School where it was taught that in order to make one's own village look like a beautiful picture again, one has to keep his home and its surroundings clean.
He also cited the instances of Vietnam and Cuba where people's involvement has greatly contributed to attaining social objectives like removal of illiteracy and bringing cleanliness.
The President said if the non-governmental efforts are not combined with the government's endeavour, “we will not be able to make much progress.”
Mukherjee also referred to the UN's Social Summit held at Copenhagen, the Denmark capital in 1995 where 10 commitments were made. The third commitment was that every country must make the environment clean, he said.
The President said that government has accorded more priority to cleanliness and accordingly the program is being launched today in 6 lakh villages and a number of cities in the country.
Enlisting hundred volunteers by each one who has taken ‘Swachhta' pledge today would go a long way in making the country clean, the President said.
He said every Indian should devote two hours daily or at least 100 hours annually in cleanliness drive.
The President, who took part in this mission at Kirnahar Shib Chandra High School from where he finished his school-level education, said it was from this institute that he first imbibed the importance of cleanliness. Messages on cleanliness were written on the walls of the school building which left an imprint on the minds of the students, he said.
The President came to Kirnahar from Mirati where he is performing puja in his ancestral house. He is putting up at the house of his elder sister Annapurna Banerjee here in Birbhum district.
This is the third Durga puja for Mukherjee after being sworn in as the President of the country. During the occasion, he also paid floral tributes at the portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Sastri on the occasion of their birth anniversaries.