Swachh Bharat: 3 years on....

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that issues such as cleanliness and hygiene should not be politicised and asserted that even 1,000 Mahatma Gandhis could not achieve the goal of a `clean India' without the participation of 125 crore Indians.

Addressing a gathering to mark three years of the Swachh Bharat mission, he said he had been severely criticised when he had initiated the programme and stepped out with a broom to launch it. Maintaining that it was essential for children to wash their hands before eating as unhygienic conditions had led to several children dying, the prime minister said when he flagged the issue people asked how they would get soap and water.

Modi said the issue of cleanliness should be looked at from the prism of women, who face difficulties due to lack of toilets, and lauded children for being ambassadors of the key programme.

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