Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday praised Parameswaran Iyer, the secretary in the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, for his contribution to the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'.
"Government officials are usually supposed to work in anonymity. We do not get to know the names of the bureaucrats whose deeds may have won our admiration. But here, I would like to breach the protocol and introduce Parameswaran Iyer to all," the prime minister said at an event here.
Modi then paused for a while during his nearly 50-minute speech and asked the TV channel crew to focus their cameras on Iyer, who was seated in the audience.
The bespectacled IAS officer rose from his seat and acknowledged the greetings from the crowd with folded hands.
Iyer had quit the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) to join a World Bank cleanliness initiative, but chose to return to the country, leaving a comfortable life in the US, to serve his motherland, Modi said.
"It is because of the efforts of such wonderful people that we can hope to make India free of filth by 2019, when we shall be celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi," the prime minister said.