Mann Ki Baat: PM Narendra Modi calls for mass movement against plastic waste

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, should mark the foundation laying of a new revolution against plastic and on October 2, the nation must dedicate to him an India that is Open Defecation Free, but also free from use of ‘single use plastic.’

Addressing the nation through his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme on All India Radio, Mr Modi announced that this year, the countrywide campaign ‘Swachchata Hi Sewa’ will start from September 11 which earlier used to start around a couple of weeks before October 2.

‘Karyanjali’ to Mahatma Gandhi: ‘During this period, all of us will move out of home, donating toil and sweat through ‘Shramdaan’, as a ‘Karyanjali’ to Mahatma Gandhi. Home or the neighbourhood lane, street circles, crossings, or drains, schools and colleges … we have to involve ourselves in a Mega campaign of ensuring cleanliness at public places. This time our emphasis must be on plastic,’ the Prime Minister added.

Join hands in curbing ‘single use plastic: Recalling his August 15 speech, he said, ‘as I had urged you from the Red Fort…the way one hundred and twenty five crore countrymen ran a campaign for cleanliness with utmost enthusiasm and energy, and toiled tirelessly towards freedom from open defecation; in a similar manner, we have to join hands in curbing ‘single use plastic’. This campaign has enthused people from all strata of society.’

Shramdaan Festival: Appealing to all strata of society, he said Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary be celebrated as a special ‘Shramdaan’ Festival, where everyone must donate one’s own labour.

‘I urge all municipalities, municipal corporations, District Administration, Gram Panchayats, Government and non-Governmental bodies, organizations; in fact each and every citizen to work towards ensuring adequate arrangement for collection and storage of plastic waste,’ Mr Modi said.

Corporate sector should come out with ways and means to dispose of all accumulated plastic: Urging the corporate sector to come out with ways and means to proactively dispose of all accumulated plastic, Mr Modi said,’… it can be recycled; it can be transformed into fuel. This way we can accomplish our task of ensuring safe disposal of plastic waste before this Diwali. All that is needed is a resolve, adding that ‘And for inspiration, there’s no need to look hither- tither; what can be a greater inspiration than Gandhi?’

Mr Modi also asked people for an introspection, joining hands with more people of the society, from all strata, from all age groups; people from villages, cities, men, women, we should ask ourselves. ‘As an individual, what can I add to the effort? What value addition could be there from my side? And being collective acquires its own strength.’

Visit at least one place associated with Mahatma in the days to come: He also urged people to visit at least one place associated with the Mahatma in the days to come. It could be any site… such as Porbandar, Sabarmati Ashram, Champaran, the Ashram at Wardha or spots in Delhi related to Mahatma Gandhi.

Exhibition based on memories of Gandhiji: Sharing an interesting piece of information through the broadcast, Mr Modi said, ‘There is a famous art show called the Venice Biennale, where people from the world over congregate. This time, in the India Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, a very interesting exhibition based on memories of Gandhiji was organised. Of special interest were the Haripura Panels. You may remember that in the Haripura Congress Session in Gujarat, Subhash Chandra Bose being elected as President is recorded in history. These Art Panels have a beautiful past.’

‘Before the Haripura Session, in 1937-38, Mahatma Gandhi had invited the then Principal of Shantiniketan Kala Bhavan, Nandlal Bose. It was Gandhiji’s wish that the lifestyle of the people of India be depicted through the medium of art and this artwork may be exhibited during the session. This is the same Nandlal Bose whose artwork adorns our Constitution; lends to the Constitution a new, unique identity,’ said the Prime Minister.

(With Agency Inputs)