Surat: To mark the first anniversary of the Clean India Campaign, around 400 specially-abled children took up brooms to clean the streets in Surat on Friday.
Students of the Disabled Welfare Trust of India (DWTI) enthusiastically removed garbage from streets around the River Tapi.
“We all went to river Tapi and cleaned garbage scattered around. I would like to spread this message that there is no need for hand and leg to clean garbage. What is needed is strong will,” said a specially-abled student, Sahin Shekh.
DWTI president Kanubhai Tailor said the students were inspired to keep the streets of the city clean.
“400 students enthusiastically participated in the cleaning up of garbage near the River Tapi. We are differently-abled, but we also have some responsibility,” said Tailor.
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 diarrhoeal diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation, according to the charity WaterAid.
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.
Urban Development Minister, M. Venkaiah Naidu, said earlier this week 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.