Today is the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi and as India and the world celebrate his life and teachings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to mark this day by declaring India open defecation-free.
PM Modi will make the announcement at the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad later in the day in front of a crowd of over 20,000 sarpanchs.
“Nearly half of the sarpanchs will be from Gujarat and rest from other states,” deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, had said earlier. “The first step towards swachhta has been achieved by making the country open defecation-free. This will be announced by the PM on October 2 at Ahmedabad during the national sarpanch convention.”
After reaching Ahmedabad at about 6 pm, he will leave for Sabarmati Ashram where he will pay his tributes to Mahatma Gandhi. After this, he will leave for Sabarmati Riverfront where he will address the crowd and declare the country open defecation-free (ODF).
Sarpanchs from states including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Union Territories will attend the event.
Earlier, in 2014, PM Modi, had launched the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign also on October 2, and now with this, it makes the perfect day to start campaigns that contribute to the growth and betterment of the country.
Earlier in the day, leaders from across parties, paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at the Rajghat.
राष्ट्रपिता महात्मा गांधी को उनकी 150वीं जन्म-जयंती पर शत-शत नमन।
Tributes to beloved Bapu! On #Gandhi150, we express gratitude to Mahatma Gandhi for his everlasting contribution to humanity. We pledge to continue working hard to realise his dreams and create a better planet. pic.twitter.com/4y0HqBO762
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 2, 2019
PM Modi, after visiting Rajghat, tweeted, “Tributes to beloved Bapu! On #Gandhi150, we express gratitude to Mahatma Gandhi for his everlasting contribution to humanity. We pledge to continue working hard to realise his dreams and create a better planet.”
Congress president Sonia Gandhi too paid her tribute at Rajghat shortly before PM Modi arrived. President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naid also paid floral tribute to Gandhi at Rajghat.
PM Modi also visited Vijayghat, the resting place of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, who also shares his birthday with Gandhiji.