“This year, when we celebrate Bapu’s 150th birth anniversary, we shall not only dedicate to him an India that is Open Defecation Free, but shall also lay the foundation of a new revolution against plastic, by people themselves, throughout the country,” he said in his monthly Mann ki Baat radio address.
“Let us celebrate Gandhi Jayanti this year as a mark of plastic free Mother India. Let us celebrate October 2 as a special day,” he said.
He called for the same level of energy and enthusiasm in the fight against plastic which was seen in the campaign for cleanliness.
“The plastic-free campaign has enthused people from all strata of society. Many of my merchant brothers and sisters have put up a placard at their establishments, mentioning that customers ought to carry shopping bags with them. This will result in monetary savings and they will also be able to contribute to protecting the environment,” he said.
Modi also urged the people to donate one’s labour on Gandhi’s birth anniversary to collect and dispose off the plastic waste.
“Let us celebrate Gandhi’s anniversary as a special ‘shramdaan’ festival where everyone will donate one’s own labour. I urge all municipalities, municipal corporations, district administrations, gram panchayats, government and non-governmental bodies and every citizen to work towards ensuring adequate arrangement for collection and storage of plastic waste.”
He made an appeal to the corporate sector.
“I also appeal to the corporate sector to come out with ways and means pro-actively for appropriate disposal of all accumulated plastic. It can be recycled; it can be transformed into fuel. This way we can accomplish our task of ensuring safe disposal of plastic waste before this Diwali. All that is needed is a resolve. Can there be a greater inspiration than Gandhi?” he said.
The Prime Minister added that he will launch a ‘Fit India’ movement on August 29, which is celebrated as the national sports day. “I want to see you fit and make you fitness conscious.”
Stressing that the Indian culture put a great emphasis on grain, he said that a balanced and nutritious food was necessary.
“Due to lack of awareness – rich as well as poor – are suffering from malnutrition. A campaign on nutrition will be run in September across the country,” he said.