Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after receiving the prestigious Global Goalkeeper Award conferred by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said he would like to dedicate the award to "130 crore people of India". He said it's of significance he had received the award on the 150 birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. "This is proof that if the manpower of 130 crore people gets involved in fulfilling any one resolution, you can overcome any challenge," said the PM.
Thanking the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the award, PM Modi said the campaign was started by the government but people took the command in their own hands and fulfilled the mission. "As a result, a record 11 million toilets were constructed in the country in the last five years. Before 2014, where rural sanitation coverage was less than 40 per cent, today it has increased to almost 100 per cent," said the PM.
The success of the Swachh Bharat Mission is due to the people of India. They made this their own movement and ensured the desired results were attained. pic.twitter.com/eVUX46IxUe— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 25, 2019
However, Modi said, the success of the Swachh Bharat Mission was above any figure. "If this mission has provided the most benefit to anyone, then it would be for the poor and women of the country," said the PM. Due to lack of toilets, many girls had to leave their schooling in between, said the PM, adding that it was the responsibility of the government to uplift the poor women and daughters of India. "Today, it is a matter of great satisfaction to me that the Swachh Bharat Mission has become a medium for the survival of millions of lives. The World Health Organisation reports that there is a possibility of saving 3 lakh lives due to Swachh Bharat," said the PM.
I dedicate the Global Goalkeeper Award, conferred by the @gatesfoundation, to the 130 crore people of India and the collective endeavours of our nation to improve cleanliness.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 25, 2019
It makes me most happy that India’s successes in sanitation have helped women and children the most. pic.twitter.com/Va4QKMY3tv
He said a report by the Bill and Milinda Gates Foundation had claimed the increase in rural sanitation in India had reduced heart problem among children and improved body mass index among women. "Today I am also happy that the dream of cleanliness that Mahatma Gandhi had dreamed of is now going to come true," said PM Modi.
The PM said the Swachh Bharat Mission had not only made the lives of crores of people better but had also played an important role in achieving the goals of the United Nations. The PM said the Swachh Bharat Mission had another impact that was less discussed -- more than 11 crore toilets built during this campaign also opened a new door to economic activity at the village level. "The success of Swachh Bharat Mission is an example of bringing alive a system of the constitution," said the PM, adding that after seeing constitutional federalism for years, India was now moving from co-operative federalism to competitive federalism.
PM Modi said for thousands of years, Indians had been taught that the earth was one family and that India was ready to share experiences and expertise with other countries. After Clean India Mission, PM Modi said, India was working fast on other big missions like Fit India Movement, under which the government was promoting fitness and preventive healthcare.
He said the government's focus was now on water conservation and recycling under the Jal Shakti Mission so that every Indian could get adequate and clean water.
"India has also launched a campaign to abandon single-use plastic by 2022. Today, while I am talking to you, the work of collecting plastic waste is going on in many parts of India," said PM Modi. The PM said he had full faith in the strength of over 1.3 billion Indians, and that like the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the government's other missions would also be successful.
Edited by Manoj Sharma