Vadodara, Oct.2 : Over 5,000 students from 120 different schools of Vadodara in Gujarat formed the face of Mahatma Gandhi to commemorate the first anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ or Clean India Campaign on Thursday.
Modi launched the ambitious campaign in October 2014, to improve the poor state of sanitation in the country within five years.
Saurabh Patel, a cabinet Minister in Gujarat, said the event was a tribute to Gandhi’s penchant for cleanliness by commemorating the first anniversary of the cleanliness campaign.
“This is our attempt to spread the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ by 25,000 children. More than 5,000 students have participated in the face formation,” Patel said.
Less than a third of India’s 1.2 billion people have access to sanitation and more than 186,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation, according to the charity Water Aid.
The United Nations said in May 2014 that half of India’s people defecate outside – putting people at risk of cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid.
However, Urban Development Minister, M. Venkaiah Naidu, said on Thursday that India would achieve its target of constructing 2.5 million household toilets by March 2016.
Modi wants every home and school to have access to a toilet by 2019, in time for the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth. (ANI)