Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had invited nine people to join the massive cleanliness drive that he launched today and requested each of them to draw nine more into the initiative to make it viral.
He also asked people to upload their videos online.
There was much applause from his audience at India Gate as he named each celebrity. The Prime Minister has tagged in his cleanliness challenge Goa governor Mridula Sinha, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Congress lawmaker and former union minister Shashi Tharoor, actors Kamal Haasan, Priyanka Chopra and Salman Khan, industrialist Anil Ambani and the team of popular TV serial Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma.
Sachin Tendulkar and Priyanka Chopra responded soon. “I humbly accept the challenge,” tweeted the world’s most prolific batsman.
The PM said people needed to “change their mindset and join hands” to clean the country. “This is not about Modi… Modi is only one of its 1.2 billion people… this is a people’s task,” he said.
The ‘Swachh Bharat’ or ‘Clean India’ campaign he said was beyond politics. “It is inspired by patriotism not politics,” he said, lauding previous governments for their efforts towards cleanliness.
“If Indians can reach Mars, they certainly can clean up the country,” the Prime Minister said, admitting that it was a difficult task.
“But we have five years,” he said, referring to his goal of a clean India in 2019, Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.