The 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan' is a mission that has brought together the entire country to fight against the stubborn evil of insanitation and to ensure a clean India. The fight took on renewed energy through the efforts of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to ensure an open-defecation free, clean India.
'Swachhta Hi Sewa', a year-long campaign started in 2018 as part of Swachh Bharat, to commemorate 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and to encourage more and more people to participate in the movement. It has brought together the entire country to fight against the stubborn evil of insanitation.
62 Cantonment Boards under Ministry of Defence actively participated in 'Swachhta Hi Sewa' campaign from September 15 to October 2, 2018. Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the 'Swachhta Hi Sewa' campaign in Delhi Cantonment. Deputy Director, General Defence Estates, Shri Suresh Nagar administered Swachhta Shapath to a gathering of over 2000 persons. On this occasion, Director General Defence Estates Smt Deepa Bajwa, Addl Secretary Ministry of Defence Shri Subhash Chandra, GOC Delhi Area Lt Gen Asit Mistry and other senior officers of Ministry of Defence, President Cantonment Board Brig Rajesh Sachdev, Vice-President and Nominated and Elected Members of the Board and other dignitaries were present to grace the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Raksha Mantri Smt Sitharaman expressed her great pleasure to be part of this momentous occasion, taking forward the path breaking 'Swachhta Hi Sewa', programme of Government of India. She said that Swachh Bharat Mission is the biggest public campaign launched by Government of India on October 2, 2014 wherein members of general public, government employees and students have voluntarily taken part since its inception. This campaign was especially launched on 145th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi to fulfil his dream of clean India. Gandhiji said, "Sanitation is more important than Independence." The Government of India believes in this vision of Bapu.
Smt Sitharaman said that even after 72 years of Independence and despite many awareness programmes about the environmental sanitation and personal cleanliness which were launched earlier by the Government of India, not much progress in the field of sanitation and cleanliness could be achieved. Therefore, in order to fulfil dream of Mahatma Gandhi to make India clean, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was introduced.
She congratulated Director General Defence Estates who played a vital role to make cantonments of India clean for sincere efforts of DGDE out of 62 Cantonments, 61 Cantonments spread all over the country have been certified as Open Defecation Free (ODF) Cantonments.
She also complimented the Cantonment Board Delhi for the colossal efforts undertaken by it in the field of Swachhta. It was ranked first in Swachhta Survekshan-2018 among 62 Cantonments of the country. Raksha Mantri congratulated everyone for bringing dream of Clean India closer to reality and showcasing Cantonments as ambassadors of cleanliness initiatives across the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Director General Defence Estates Smt Deepa Bajwa stated that the 'Swachhta Hi Sewa' is being put forward as a cleanliness and awareness drive, aimed at encouraging participation in Swachh Bharat movement. Smt Bajwa said that 62 Cantonment Boards across the country have initiated several reforms in the sanitation sectors primary focus on promoting better hygiene behaviour amongst the population and improving cleanliness by ensuring proper solid and liquid waste management. She said that because of the efforts of the dedicated officials, 61 Cantonments out of 62 have been declared as Open Defecation Free (ODF). She also congratulated Delhi Cantonment Board for its relentless efforts in implementing various initiatives under Swachh Bharat Mission which help them in securing First rank in Swachhta Survekshan-2018. Director General, Defence Estates handed over a draft of amount of Rs. 91,50,000 contributed by Officers and Staff of Defence Estates Organization including Directorate General, Defence Estates, six offices of Principal Directorate, Defence Estates, 38 Defence Estate Officers, three Assistant Defence Estate Officers and 62 Cantonment Boards for Prime Minister Relief fund towards relief to flood ravaged Kerala.
On the occasion, Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman participated in 'Shramdaan' at Sadar Bazar alongwith IDES officers, Army officers, Elected Members and representatives of RWAs and traders associations. Smt Sitharaman also inaugurated a free Health Camp organized by Delhi Cantt Board at Cantonment General Hospital.