New Delhi :
On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary on October 2, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will declare India open defecation-free, as part of the government's flagship Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a cleanliness campaign drive across the country.
The announcement will be made at a function scheduled to be held at the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad during Prime Minister Modi's visit to his home state Gujarat next month. Over 20,000 village heads (sarpanchs) from across the country will also take part in the special programme to observe the birth anniversary of Gandhi, the Father of India.
Talking about the scheduled programme, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitil Patel said, "October 2 will be celebrated as Swachh Bharat Diwas across India. Our Prime Minister would visit Gujarat on that day and declare the entire country open defecation-free in the presence over 20,000 sarpanchs, including around 10,000 other states".
Besides, dignitaries from across the world are also expected to attend the mega event on October 2. "To spread the message of cleanliness to the masses, dignitaries from across the world have been invited to attend the event to be held at the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad on October 2," Patel told reporters in Gandhinagar.
People associated with Gandhian institutions, high court judges, Padma awardees, students, educationists and village-level sanitation workers have also been invited for the function, the BJP leader said.
The deputy chief minister added, the 10,000 sarpanchs coming from other states would be taken to different places associated with the Father of the Nation such as Dandi Memorial and Mahatma Mandir. The village heads will also visit the Statue of Unity built in dedication to Iron Man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Narmada district, Patel said.