NDTV, India’s most trusted news network, in association with Dettol organized a 12-hour Cleanathon to extend their support for the Swachh India initiative by the Government of India. In its fifth year, the campaign highlighted the work to be done till October 2019 in helping India become Clean, Healthy and Hygienic, particularly the transition from SWACHH TO SWASTH BHARAT. The Cleanathon also celebrated the impact of the last 4 years of the campaign and how far it has come since 2014.
One of the major concerns that is plaguing India is the poor state of hygiene and sanitation. According to UNICEF, only 31% of the total Indian population use improved sanitation. In addition, 595 million people do not use toilets in India. Open defecation is a reality and causes chronic diarrhea that leads to stunting and 1,000 lives are lost every day due to stunting. To educate and discuss the importance of cleanliness, NDTV partnered with Dettol in 2014, to launch India’s biggest sanitation campaign – ‘Banega Swachh India’. It is a 5-year programme to create awareness about the importance of hygiene and sanitation, and also work with NGO partners to support infrastructure for construction and maintenance of toilets
Keeping with the beliefs of the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, the NDTV-Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign observes Rastriya Swachhta Diwas on October 02. The campaign encourages all citizens to join a nationwide tree plantation and cleanliness drive. Hosted by Mr Amitabh Bachchan & Vikram Chandra, in Juhu, Mumbai, the CLEANATHON focused on encouraging everyone to support the campaign by planting trees across the country.
With Amitabh Bachchan fronting the campaign for the fifth consecutive year, the campaign this year aimed to make everyone realize that cleanliness is a personal task and everyone is equally responsible for it. The campaign raised issues of concerns faced by the residents. On the emotive subject of manual scavenging in the country, where one manual scavenger dies every five days even though it is illegal to employ manual scavengers, Mr Bachchan on finding out that there are machines available to do this job, promised that he would personally buy 50 such machines so that 50 manual scavengers can be saved from the indignity to which they are subjected. The CEO of RB, Rakesh Kapoor then stepped up and said that RB would match Mr.Bachchan generous offer by contributing 10 times as much.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised NDTV’S efforts, he tweeted, “I congratulate the effort to take the message of Swachhta forward. They have brought the people from all walks of life on their platform to further discussion on ways to make India cleaner.”
A host of eminent personalities like Arun Jaitley; Minister of Corporate Affairs, Nitin Gadkari;Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India, Kamal Hassan; Actor & Politician, Manisha Mhaiskar, Kiren Rijiju; Member of Loksabha, Dr.Ram Singh; CM of Chhattisgarh, Sudeep Lakhtakia; Director General NSG, H. D. Kumaraswamy; Chief Minister of Karnataka, Jai Dhar Gupta; CEO Nirvana Being, Jitendra Singh; MoS Atomic Energy and Space, Kiran Bedi; L-G of Puducherry, Raghubar Das; CM Jharkhand, Babul Supriyo; MoS Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise, Jaya Bachchan; Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha, Parameswaran Iyer; Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Hema Malini; Actor & Politician, Uma Bharti; Cabinet Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Omar Abdullah; Former CM Jammu & Kashmir, Suresh Prabhu; Minister of Commerce and Industry, Harsh Vardhan; Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, Prakash Javadekar; HRD Minister of India, Anupriya Patel; Mos Health & Family Welfare and also Bollywood personalities including Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Vicky Kaushal, Prasoon Joshi, Vipul Shah and many others joined with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan during the 12 hour event.
The Cleanathon had dedicated segments on sanitation to cover stories, highlighting parts of India where sanitation has improved the overall health of the community and individuals, leading to a reduction in diarrhoea deaths, increase in school attendance, where community gains have been made and where innovative enterprise has made all the difference. At this time organizations, individuals and politicians involved in making the difference in different states of the country were either present on stage to talk about it or were live through OB links from different parts of the country.
The event had a call to action for tree plantation and drives were organized by students and citizens across the country. Similarly, there was a shout out to all State Chief Ministers on their plan of action to reduce Air Pollution by adopting the 5 point agenda drafted earlier in the year by the BSI campaign.
Speaking about the initiative, Dr. Prannoy Roy, Co-Chairperson, NDTV said, “For NDTV this is one our most important campaigns - it has the capability to transform India. This is not just about making India clean full stop. Cleanliness has a much wider impact: on improving our health, reducing pollution, and setting the stage for a better cleaner healthier future for our children. And in this 150th year of Gandhiji’s birth let us all commit ourselves to creating an India that he would be proud of.”
Commenting on the occasion, Campaign Ambassador, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, said, “I believe children are agents of change and they are learning about hygiene and sanitation in schools and taking that knowledge forward in their communities. Let us all take the #Mere10Guz initiative a step further together with our children. Let’s have your hand in mine, together you and I can make Hygiene, Sanitation & Air Pollution our focus and help India become clean and healthy. By October 2019 Bharat Swachh Zaroor Banega.”
Commenting on the development, Rakesh Kapoor, CEO, RB said, “We are extremely proud of the pioneering work we are doing under the Dettol Harpic Banega Swachh India Campaign that is driving behaviour change and empowering people with better health and hygiene outcomes. Through the program, we have already directly reached 12 million Indians across 80 districts and 9 states in the country and are seeing positive results. I strongly believe that a Swachh India is a Swasth India. While much has been accomplished, there is more to do and therefore our focus going forward will be to sustain the momentum we have gained so far that will inadvertently lead to improving the general quality of lives.”
Performances by Sonu Nigam, Sukhwinder Singh, Tochi Raina, Jubin Nautiyal, Richa Sharma, Kavita Seth, Hardy Sandhu, Palak Muchhal, Javed Ali, Ankit Tiwari, Shilpa Rao, Dharavi Rocks Band and Mallakhamb India Group during the Cleanathon kept the audience enthralled.
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