New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Thursday kick start the ambitious ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' here aiming at creating a 'Clean India' in the next five years.
Modi would symbolically wield a broom on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, and reach out to all Indians to make cleanliness a mass movement.
Preparations are being made in government offices and also by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Delhi for large participation in ‘cleanliness oath' to be taken on Thursday.
BJP leaders said about 30,000 people were expected to take oath at Boat Club lawns here along with Modi.
The launch was preceded by cleanliness campaign week beginning on September 25 which saw Central government offices being spruced up by discarding or overhauling old furniture and sending old files to record rooms.
The launch of the mission comes in the wake of a perception about Indian cities not being very clean. A number of people in rural areas still do not have access to toilets. Some schools in the rural areas also do not have toilets.
According to the 2011 Census, only 32.70 per cent of rural households had access to toilets. According to a UN report released this year, India continues to have the largest number of people in the world defecating in the open.
Modi has been talking of ‘Clean India' in his major speeches, and most people feel that personal push being given by him to sanitation would have an impact.
Modi has said a ‘clean India' will be the best tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019. The Father of the Nation had a penchant for cleanliness in his personal habits and strongly promoted it in society.
Modi will visit Rajghat - Mahatma Gandhi's memorial – on Thursday morning and later visit a Dalit colony. He would visit India Gate and launch the nationwide mission.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan release said the President's Secretariat and attached offices will remain open on October 2 in forenoon and officials and residents will be administered the 'Cleanliness Oath'.
Academic institutions, industry associations and the corporate sector are expected to pitch in enthusiastically in the mission.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in a release said, it has launched 'Mission-Sanitation of Schools (SoS)' to strengthen the ‘Swachh Bharat' initiative.