Taking forward his 'Swachh Bharat' campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked banks to help create one lakh 'Swachhta Entrepreneurs' in a year by financing cleanliness and waste management ventures.
Asking banks to become 'agents of social transformation', Modi said the banks need to take up social causes and adopt a charter for the nation's development.
The Prime Minister launched a 'Swachh Bharat' initiative on October 2, 2014 and exhorted everyone in the country to fulfil Mahatma Gandhi's vision of Clean India.
"Can we create Swachhta Entrepreneurs? There is immense scope in solid waste management and water treatment," he said, while speaking at a function to celebrate 60 years of ICICI group.
"Within the financial sector, can we develop a new sector and give it a priority and can banks create one lakh Swachhta Entrepreneurs with the help of bank finance?
"Solid waste management and waste water treatment is a big business. We can create such entrepreneurs by training and giving finance to our youth. This can be a sustainable in the long-term," he said.
The Prime Minister said banks give funds for infrastructure and they can also give finance to small people to make them entrepreneurs in such sectors.
He said that banks providing support to such entrepreneurs will help make the 'Swachh Bharat' vision a sustainable reality.
Modi also dedicated an 'ICICI Digital Village' to the nation, which has been developed by the country's largest private sector bank by adopting Akodara village in Gujarat.
He said that the village chosen by ICICI Bank as a digital village has a cattle hostel, which had contributed immensely to improving incomes and cleanliness in the village.
He said more and more villages across India would adopt this model soon and rural development could emerge as a powerhouse of economic development for the country.
Modi had started Gujarat's first animal hostel in 2011, when he was the Chief Minister of the state, in this village in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat.