President compares ‘cleanliness mission’ with ‘freedom struggle’ | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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President compares ‘cleanliness mission’ with ‘freedom struggle’

“It’s not just a cleanliness mission; it’s a whole freedom movement.”

lucknow Updated: Sep 16, 2017 16:34 IST
Oliver Fredrick

“It’s not just a cleanliness mission; it’s a whole freedom movement, which Narendra Modi ji is leading,” said President Ram Nath Kovind as he compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi with freedom fighters Tatya Tope and Nana Sahib, both of whom led the battle against the British in Kanpur region during the 1857 uprising.

Kovind, who was in Ishwariganj, a remote village in Kanpur, to launch ‘Swacchata Hi Sewa Hai’ mission aimed at spreading the word of cleanliness, said: “It’s the same battle that is being fought to make India clean.”

Kovind, who was accompanied by first lady Savita, was on his maiden visit to his hometown Kanpur after becoming President.

The President administered oath to the gathering for keeping the vicinity clean and said “each one of you is a rashtra nirmata and have a crucial role to play in building the nation.”

“President can be one, but rashtra nirmata can be many. I want you to become rashtra nirmatas, in order to take country’s development to new heights,” he said amid cheers from dwellers of Ishwariganj that is perhaps the first village in Kanpur division to be declared open defecation free (ODF).

Kovind highlighted the aspect of personal health and said, “unhygienic conditions are home to mental illness. As per a survey, India has more than 6 crore people with mental problems and unhygienic conditions was attributed to be the sole cause behind the illness.”

The President said, “Every visit to Kanpur reminds me of my school and college days. I do share emotional bonding with Kanpur.”

Kovind was accompanied by chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Governor Ram Naik, deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, union minister Uma Bharti among others.

Yogi, too, stressed on cleanliness and health and said the UP government so far did well in transforming villages along the Ganga into the ODF.

“But there are still many villages left. The deteriorating state of the stretch of Ganga that passes through Kanpur is a matter of concern,” he said.

The chief minister directed officials to expedite ‘transformation’ of the villages and start work for observing Ganga Mahotsav in all districts through which the Ganga passes.

In last six months, Yogi said more than 10 lakh toilets had been constructed in UP and 15,000 more were in the making.

Naik compared the President’s welcome in his home town to that of Lord Ram’s return to Ayodhya from Lanka and said “UP’s contribution to building the nation cannot be denied.”