Modi vows to build a new India of Mahatma Gandhi’s dreams

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on October 02, 2019 Published on October 02, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File Photo   -  Reuters

Says Swacch Bharat Mission has delivered ₹20-lakh crore economic benefit

Marking the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on the banks of the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad, Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to create a New India that lives up to Gandhiji’s dream.

Appealing to the audience to participate in building a New India, he identified the characteristics of his vision on the lines of Gandhiji’s dream for India, “which is clean and environmentally-friendly, where every individual is fit and healthy, where every mother, child is nourished, where every citizen feels safe; an India which is free from discrimination, and has harmony. An India which will follow the ideals of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas. These principles of Bapu will be our guiding light to achieve our goal of a New India.”

Open-defecation free

Addressing a gathering of over 20,000 people from different parts of the country, Modi announced that the people of rural India have declared themselves free from open-defecation.

“Our country has achieved this milestone, while a journey still continues to maintain the momentum for Swachchagrah,” he said.

On arrival at the Ahmedabad airport, the Prime Minister was given a rousing welcome followed by a tour to Sabarmati Ashram, where he paid tribute to the Father of the Nation. In his visitor remarks at the Ashram, Modi wrote in Gujarati, “I find myself fortunate to be a witness in realising Gandhiji’s dream of clean India by achieving a goal of open defecation-free India... I pray that each of our steps match Bapu’s footsteps, and may we live and realise the dreams that Bapu nurtured..”

Later in the evening, Modi addressed a gathering of Village sarpanchs from Gujarat and across India to mark the achievement of a major milestone in his ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’.

He quoted UNICEF data to show the positive impact on public health, economy and standard of living of people living in villages. “UNICEF data shows that in the past five years, through the Swacch Bharat Mission, there is a positive impact on the economy to the tune of ₹20-lakh crore. This includes employment generation for over 75 lakh, of which most are brothers and sisters from villages. In addition to it, there is also visible improvement in the education of children and our productivity,” he said.

Rural push

Speaking at the Sabarmati riverfront, Modi equated his government’s policies and missions to Gandhi’s vision of strengthening rural society and economy.

“Gandhiji has shown us the ideals of truth, non-violence, satyagraha and self-reliance. Today, we need to walk on these ideals to achieve a dream of New India that is clean, healthy, prosperous and strong,” the PM said at the rally, which was also attended by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Governor Acharya Devvrat and other State leaders.

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Published on October 02, 2019
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