Government working to realise Bapu’s vision on sanitation: Sitharaman

New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the Narendra Modi government believed in Mahatma Gandhis vision on sanitation and was working to realise it.

“Gandhi ji said that sanitation is more important than independence. The government believes in this vision of Bapu,” the Minister said.

She said even after 72 years of Independence and despite many awareness programmes about sanitation and personal cleanliness launched by earlier governments, not much progress could be achieved.

“Therefore, in order to fulfil dream of Mahatma Gandhi to make India clean, Swachh Bharat Mission was introduced,” she said.

She said Swachh Bharat Mission is the biggest public campaign launched by the government on October 02, 2014, wherein people, government employees and students have voluntarily taken part.

The 62 Cantonment Boards under the Defence Ministry actively participated in ‘Swachhta Hi Sewa’ campaign from September 15 to October 2 this year. She said out of 62 cantonments, 61 across the country have been certified as Open Defecation Free (ODF).

Sitharaman also participated in the ‘shramdaan’ (voluntary labour) with a broom outside Cantonment General Hospital at Sadar Bazar along with senior officials.

She also inaugurated a free health camp organized by the Delhi Cantonment Board at Cantonment General Hospital.

Deputy Director General Defence Estates Suresh Nagar administered Swachhta oath to the gathering. Director General Defence Estates Deepa Bajwa, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Subhash Chandra, General officer Commanding (GOC) Delhi Area Lt. Gen Asit Mistry and other senior officers of Defence Ministry were also present.