Central ministries launch cleanliness drive

New Delhi, Various central government ministries including home, human resource development and defence Thursday initiated cleanliness drives as a prelude to formal launch of Swachh Bharat mission by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Oct 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

As part of the drive, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani herself wielded a broom and a shovel to clean the ground at a school here.

She appealed to the teachers and students at a Kendriya Vidyala here to help make the drive a success. The campaign which began Thursday will continue till Oct 31.

Kendriya Vidyalays and Navodaya Vidyalya Sangathans would take up various activities like cleaning of class rooms, laboratories, libraries, playgrounds, toilets and organise essays, debates, painting competitions on cleanliness and hygiene.

The ministry also proposes to introduce a 30-minute cleaning campaign in the school twice a week.

"The state governments would initiate construction of toilets in 25,000 schools on Oct 2 under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)," a ministry release said.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has been advised to set up questions on cleanliness, hygiene and environment in the examinations it conducts. It has already issued advisories to the schools affiliated with it and take up the programme.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched an intensive cleanliness campaign in his ministry and said the government was determined to provide "a clean, green and hygienic India" through people's participation.

Tourism and Culture Minister Shripad Naik launched the cleanliness drive from the historic Red Fort. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed on the occasion between the the Archaeological Survey of India, the Oil and Natural Gas Commission and the ministry.

As per the MoU, the ONGC would support comprehensive conservation activities and improving visitors' amenities at Taj Mahal in Agra.

"The ASI has prepared the plan to keep all its monuments and sites clean and also to provide clean toilets. The ministry of tourism has come forward to assist in constructing new toilets in the ASI protected monuments and improve the existing ones," Naik said.

A special cleaning drive was also started by senior officers of the defence ministry to encourage all fellow employees to ensure highest degree of cleanliness and hygiene at workplace.

In the first phase officers up to the level of deputy secretary/directors started the campaign with brooms and dusters in their hands, cleaning corridors and rooms of Sena Bhawan.

Union Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Kalraj Mishra also launched cleanliness campaign in his ministry and led by example by cleaning the floor, a release said.

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