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Motivate youth and their families to work for “Swachh Bharat”: PM

New Delhi: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today described Governors as inspirational "Agents of Change", and said their catalysing influence can contribute significantly to the development of states. He was addressing the concluding session of the Conference of Governors at Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Prime Minister described the distinguished gathering of Governors as one which included a former Chief Justice of India, former Chief Ministers, a former Cabinet Minister, former Speakers of Legislative Assemblies, a former Army officer, and former senior bureaucrats. Shri Narendra Modi outlined the broad thrust of the Union Government`s policies, which he described as oriented towards all-round economic growth. He said the Government has moved away from the model of "one-size-fits-all" schemes, and is working towards cooperative, competitive federalism, through the NITI Aayog. Referring to the security scenario, the Prime Minister said that the expanding footprint of extremist and terrorist organizations in Pakistan, and their link with terror activities in India, is a major security challenge. He said ceasefire violations along the Line of Control were continuing. He added that the Government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to counter infiltration from across the border. He urged states facing the problem of Left Wing Extremism to adopt a coordinated approach to tackle the problem. The Prime Minister stressed the need for ending the infrastructure deficit in the North-East, to realize the immense potential of the region, and to help it march forward shoulder-to-shoulder as part of "Team India". The Prime Minister spoke extensively on the subject of tribal development, and referred to the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana, which was initiated when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2007. He stressed on the need for providing stable employment to tribals, eliminating infrastructure gaps, and improving education, human development, and lifestyle changes among the tribal communities. The Prime Minister highlighted recent governance initiatives of the Union Government, including the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG subsidy, the Digital India Mission, the Make in India Mission, initiatives for skill development, and elimination of outdated laws. He said Governors are Chancellors of Universities, and in that capacity, they should inspire youth and their families to work towards Swachh Bharat. The Prime Minister also touched upon major social issues such as drug abuse, declining sex ratio and food adulteration, in his address. He asked Governors to contribute in the successful implementation of important central schemes. As an illustration, he mentioned rural electrification, and said 20,000 villages still remained without electricity. He also mentioned pending projects in the road, rail and power sectors. Governors of States and Administrators of Union Territories were today briefed on the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ at Rashtrapati Bhawan. Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venakaiah Naidu has made a presentation on the objectives of the Mission, physical targets and strategy for ensuring cleanliness in all urban areas of the country by the year 2019, commemorating the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa. President Shri Pranab Mukherjee was also present during the presentation.  Shri Venkaiah Naidu said that generation of awareness for behavioral change towards cleanliness and avoidance of open defecation is of foremost importance in the strategy for achieving cleanliness and urged the Governors and Administrators to take lead in the campaign. They could also review progress of the Mission in respective States and UTs from time to time and facilitate best performing urban local bodies, individuals and organisations, he said. The Minister said Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has desired ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ to be made into a Jan Andolan and several distinguished persons have been roped in as Brand Ambassadors. Effective awareness generation would result in proper and full utilization of infrastructure being built in the form of household toiles, public and community toilets, he said.  Under Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas, 1.20 crore household toilets and over 5.00 lakh public and community toilet seats are to be built in urban areas in the next five years at an estimated cost of Rs.62,009 cr. Central Government provides a grant of Rs.4,000 per each household toilet besides extending Viability Gap Funding for building public and community toilets.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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