New Delhi: The Swachh Bharat Mission, with its focus on behavioural change, is becoming a community movement, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday.
“The Swachh Bharat Mission is becoming a community movement to herald an overall change in the quality of life and well-being of the people, particularly the poor,” Mukherjee said while addressing a joint sitting of the two houses of parliament ahead of the budget session.
“My government aims to create a ‘shikshit, swasth, swachh’, an educated, healthy and clean India. In a reflection of how the spirit of Swachh Bharat has manifested in our primary schools, over 4,17,000 functional toilets for girls and boys have been constructed,” he added.
In his address, the president also said that the government’s cleanliness mission extended to the railways and it strived to phase out open discharge of sewage from trains and do away with manual scavenging.
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“My government has initiated several ambitious measures for improving sanitation standards at railway stations and in trains. ‘Samman’ guides us in our endeavour to phase out the open discharge of sewage from trains and combat manual scavenging. All new coaches are now being fitted with bio-toilets,” Mukherjee said.
Projects undertaken in 118 cities and 1,649 gram panchayats are being provided complete sanitation solutions as part of Namami Gange programme, he added.
The President said the government firmly believes that economic development and environmental protection can co-exist.
“As part of the Namami Gange Programme, my government is implementing several projects in all 118 cities and complete sanitation solutions for 1,649 gram panchayats, on the banks of the holy Ganga,” the President said.