The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, became the first PM of India to take a dip in holy waters of Prayagraj Sangam during Maha Kumbh. After the dip he performed “Charan Vandana” of a few select sanitation workers as a mark of respect to their efforts in ensuring a clean Kumbh.
This was a bold and heart-warming statement from Modi to reaffirm his commitment towards Swachh Bharat mission.
Modi later addressing the Swachh Kumbh, Swachh Aabhaar event in Prayagraj said that all those, who have been involved in ensuring the best of arrangements for the devotees gathering at Prayagraj for the Kumbh, as “Karm-Yogis”. In this context, he mentioned the NDRF, the boatmen, the local population and the sanitation workers as well.
Mentioning that over 21 crore people have visited the Kumbh over the last few weeks, he said the sanitation workers have shown that nothing is impossible.
He said that they are most deserving, for all the appreciation that the Kumbh has got this year. He said the moments when he offered Charan Vandana to some sanitation workers, would always remain etched in his memory.
The Prime Minister said that the Swachh Seva Samman Kosh, announced today would help the sanitation workers and their families, in times of need.
Modi said that Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is progressing rapidly and the country is moving towards becoming Open Defecation Free before the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, on October 2nd this year.
Shri Narendra Modi said that the cleanliness of the River Ganga has also been the subject of much discussion this year and he has witnessed it first-hand today. He expressed that this is also a result of the efforts of Namaami Gange, and the Union Government. He said drains falling into the river are being blocked, and sewage treatment plants being built.
The PM said that a few days ago, he received the Seoul Peace Prize, which included an amount of about Rs. 1.30crore which he has donated towards the Namaami Gange Mission. He said the gifts and mementoes he has received as Prime Minister have also been auctioned, and their proceeds have gone towards Namaami Gange.
The Prime Minister had a special word of appreciation for the boatmen (Naviks) involved in Kumbh as well. He also noted that for the first time since independence, pilgrims arriving for Kumbh had a chance to visit the Akshay Vat.
The Prime Minister thanked everyone present in the gathering for fulfilling his vision of a Kumbh that was a blend of spirituality, faith and modernity. He also appreciated the role played by the Uttar Pradesh Police in this regard.
The Prime Minister said that the arrangements made for Kumbh this year, have included development of vital infrastructure, which will continue to serve the city, even after the Kumbh Mela is over.