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PM’s address at the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 and AMRUT 2.0

PM’s address at the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 and AMRUT 2.0

Namaskar! Present with me in this programme my cabinet colleagues Shri Hardeep Singh Puri ji, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat ji, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel ji, Shri Kaushal Kishore ji, Shri Bishweswar ji, ministers from all the states, mayors and chairpersons of urban local bodies, municipal commissioners, all the colleagues of Swachh Bharat Mission and AMRUT scheme, ladies and gentlemen!

I congratulate the country for the next phase of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and AMRUT Mission. In 2014, the people of the country took a pledge to make India open defecation free – ODF. They fulfilled this pledge with the construction of more than 10 crore toilets. Now the goal of the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0’ is to make a garbage-free city, a city completely free of garbage. AMRUT Mission is going to help the countrymen more in this regard. We are moving forward in the direction to ensure 100% access to clean water and better management of sewage in cities. In the next phase of AMRUT Mission, the country aims to increase sewage and septic management, make water-secure cities and ensure that no sewage drains anywhere in our rivers.

Friends,

The journey of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and AMRUT Mission to date is really going to make every countryman proud. It also has the mission, respect, dignity and ambition of a country and love for the motherland. The achievement of Swachh Bharat Mission reassures us about the sensitivity and alertness of every Indian towards his duties. Behind its success is the contribution, hard work and sweat of every citizen. Our sanitation workers and our brothers and sisters who broom the roads every day while tolerating the stench of the garbage are the heroes of this campaign in the true sense. The country has closely watched and experienced their contribution in the difficult times of Corona.

While congratulating every Indian on these achievements, I also extend my best wishes for ‘Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0’ and AMRUT 2.0. What is more pleasing is that a new beginning is happening today, a day before Gandhi Jayanti. This campaign, which is the result of the inspiration and ideals of revered Bapu, is moving towards its accomplishment. Imagine the convenience to our mothers and sisters due to cleanliness. Earlier, many women could not leave the house and go to work in the absence of toilet facilities. Many daughters had to drop out because of the lack of toilets in the schools. Now things are changing. In the 75th year of independence, I offer these successes of the country, today’s new resolutions, at the feet of revered Bapu.

Friends,

We are fortunate that this program is being organized in this international center dedicated to Babasaheb. Babasaheb believed in urban development as a great means of removing inequality. Many people from villages migrate to cities in the aspiration of a better life. Though they get employment, their standard of living is left much to be desired compared to their life in villages. This is like a double whammy for them as they are far away from home and they have to live in such a difficult situation. Babasaheb laid great emphasis on changing this situation and ending this inequality. The next phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission and the AMRUT Mission is also an important step towards fulfilling the dreams of Babasaheb.

Friends,

In this 75th year of independence, the country has also given a call for ‘Sabka Prayas’ along with ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas’. This spirit of ‘Sabka Prayas’ (everyone’s effort) is equally important for cleanliness. Many of you must have visited remote rural areas and seen the traditional houses of the tribal communities. The cleanliness and decorations in their homes despite scant resources is very attractive. You go to the North East, to the mountains of Himachal or Uttarakhand and you will find a different positive energy emanating from their houses because of cleanliness. We can learn about a deep relationship between cleanliness and happiness by staying with them.

When I became the Chief Minister of Gujarat and started exploring the tourism potential for development, the biggest focus was on cleanliness and connecting everyone in this effort. When the Nirmal Gujarat campaign became a mass movement, it yielded very good results. This not only gave a new identity to Gujarat, but tourism also got a boost in the state.

Brothers and sisters,

This spirit of mass movement is the essence of the success of the Swachh Bharat Mission. Earlier garbage was spilled on the streets of the cities, now emphasis is being laid on not only waste collection from homes, but also on waste segregation. In many homes now we see that people are keeping separate dustbins for wet and dry garbage. Leave aside houses, if people find any garbage outside, they report it through the cleanliness app and also make other people aware about the cleanliness. I am very happy that our present generation has taken the initiative to strengthen the cleanliness campaign. Toffee wrappers are no longer thrown on the ground, but kept in pockets. Now little children interrupt the elders not to litter and urge their grandparents against it. Youth in cities are helping in the cleanliness campaign in various ways. Some are making wealth from waste while some others are busy raising awareness.

Now there is a competition among the people that their city should top the Swachh Bharat ranking. And if it lags behind, questions are raised how come that city is ahead of us and where did we lack. The media also discusses the city doing well in the ranking. Pressure is building up. Such is the environment that people want their city ahead in the cleanliness ranking and do not want their city to be recognized as a city of filth. Friends who are from Indore or watching on TV will agree with me even more. Today everyone knows that Indore is the top city in cleanliness! This is a shared achievement of the people of Indore. Now we have to connect every city with such achievement.

I urge every state government, local administration and mayors of cities to once again get involved in this great campaign of cleanliness. There may have been some slackness during Corona, but now we have to move ahead with new energy. We have to remember that cleanliness is not only for a day, a fortnight, a year or the responsibility of a few people. Cleanliness is a great campaign for everyone, every day, every fortnight, every year, generation after generation. Cleanliness is lifestyle and cleanliness is the mantra of life.

As we have the habit of cleaning our teeth as soon as we wake up in the morning, we have to make cleanliness a part of our life. I am not just talking about personal hygiene, but social hygiene as well. Imagine cleanliness in railway coaches and railway platforms was not that difficult. Some effort was made by the government, some cooperation was lent by the people and now the image of railways has changed.

Friends,

Our government is making a record investment to improve the ease of living for the urban poor and the middle class people living in the cities. If we talk about the seven years prior to 2014, then the budget of around 1.25 lakh crore was allocated for the Ministry of Urban Development, whereas in the seven years of our government, a budget of about Rs 4 lakh crore has been allocated for the Ministry of Urban Development. This amount has been invested on cleanliness of cities, waste management and new sewage treatment plants. With this investment, projects related to houses, new metro routes and smart cities are being completed for the urban poor. I am confident that we can achieve our goals. Both the speed and scale of the Swachh Bharat Mission and AMRUT Mission add to this trust.

Today India is processing about one lakh tonnes of waste every day. When the country launched the cleanliness campaign in 2014, less than 20 percent of the waste generated in the country every day was processed. Today we are processing about 70 percent waste daily. From 20 percent to 70 percent! But now we have to take it to 100%. This will not be possible only through waste disposal, but through waste to wealth creation. In order to ensure this, the country has set a target of creating 100 percent waste segregation as well as modern material recovery facilities in every city. Waste will be sorted; recycled items will be processed and segregated through these modern facilities. Along with this, the mounds of garbage in the cities will be processed and eliminated completely. Hardeep ji, when I am talking about clearing these huge piles of garbage, there has also been a similar mountain in Delhi for years and this mountain is also waiting to be removed.

Friends,

Nowadays, the world is debating about the prospects of Green Jobs. This campaign will also create many Green Jobs in India. The use of modern technology is also increasing continuously for the development of cities. The country has launched the National Automobile Scrappage Policy recently in August. This new scrapping policy gives further impetus to the circular economy and to the Waste to Wealth campaign. This policy will also play a major role in reducing pollution of the cities. Its principle is – Reuse, Recycle and Recovery. The government has also laid greater emphasis on the use of waste in the construction of roads. Recycling is also being encouraged in the construction of the government buildings and the houses under government housing schemes.

Friends,

States have played a huge role in giving a new direction to clean India and balanced urbanization. Just now we have also heard the messages of many fellow Chief Ministers. I express special gratitude to every state government of the country. All the states have addressed the basic needs of their cities, from water supply to sanitation. Under the AMRUT Mission, projects worth more than 80,000 crore rupees are underway. Along with a better future for the cities, youth are also getting new opportunities. Now we have to extend the benefits of water connection and sewer line facilities to 100 percent urban households. With the increase in the sewage water treatment, the water resources of the cities will be clean and so will our rivers. We have to move forward with a resolve that no dirty water should drain in any river of the country.

Friends,

In this programme, I would like to talk about one of the most important companions of the cities. They are our street vendors and hawkers. The PM SVANidhi Yojana has come as a new ray of hope for these people. They were not taken care of even decades after independence. They had to pay a very high interest for a small amount of money borrowed from somebody. They were always under the burden of debt. A large portion of the amount earned by them by working hard throughout the day would go to the money lender than the family. It was also impossible to get help from banks in the absence of transaction history or any document.

What looked impossible has been made possible by the PM SVANidhi Yojana. Today, more than 46 lakh street vendors and hawkers have come forward to take advantage of this scheme. Out of these, about 2500 crore rupees have been given to 25 lakh people. It is not a small matter that 2500 crore rupees reached the pockets of street vendors. They are now doing digital transactions and they are also repaying the loans they have taken from banks. Street vendors who repay the loan on time also get a rebate in interest. In a very short time, these people have done more than seven crore transactions. Sometimes brilliant people in our country claim how these poor people will learn about digital transactions. These are the people who have accomplished it and have done digital transactions 70 million times.

These people have started paying digitally through their mobile phones for the goods bought from wholesalers and in the same way receiving money from people for selling their goods. One of the big advantages of this has been that there is now the digital history of their transactions. And because of this digital history, banks come to know about the worth of their businesses and it becomes easier for the banks to give them the next loan.

Friends,

Under the PM SVANidhi Yojana, the street vendors get the second loan of 20,000 rupees after they repay their first loan of 10,000 rupees. Similarly, they get a loan of Rs. 50,000 after they repay their second loan. Today there are hundreds of street vendors who are preparing to take a third loan from banks. I want to liberate every such fellow from the vicious cycle of going somewhere else other than the banks to take loans at higher interest. I would like to tell the mayors of the cities in this programme that this is the true sense of serving the poor and empowering the poorest of the poor. This is in true sense the work of liberating the poor from the vicious circle of interest. There is no mayor, corporator, or counselor in the country who does not have this sentiment in his heart and he does not try anything to make this PM SVANidhi successful.

If all of you come together, then (the destiny of) these poor persons of our country (can change). We have seen during Corona the problems we face if the vegetable seller or a milkman does not turn up.  We have realized the value of every individual in our life during the Corona period. When we have realized this, can’t it be our responsibility to train them for digital transactions. Such a wonderful scheme is there, he is getting incentives in interest and he is getting money to expand his business. Don’t we have friends in the cities who can take steps to change their lives?

I say for sure friends, even if this project is of the Government of India, it is PM’s SVANidhi scheme, but if you do it, you will secure your place in his heart. He will applaud the mayor of the city, the corporator, and whosoever has extended his help. I want you, all the mayors, corporators and counsellors of the cities of the country to be applauded so that these street vendors can lead their lives with dignity and can decide for better education for their children.

It can be done very easily, friends, but we all need to contribute. I want to tell all the commissioners that this is the work of humanity; this is also the cleaning of the economy at the grass root level. It is an act of lifting up self-respect. The country has put you in such a prestigious position, embrace this PM SVANidi scheme wholeheartedly and commit yourself for this. In no time, you will see every family in the villages making digital payments for buying vegetables, milk or goods in bulk. It will lead to a big revolution. Their numbers are very small, but still they did seven crore digital transactions. If you extend your help, our progress is unimaginable.

I personally request all the units associated with urban development present in this program today that you do not lag behind in this work. And when I am speaking from the building named after Babasaheb Ambedkar, it becomes our responsibility to do something for the poor.

Friends,

I am happy that the two big states of the country, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, have the largest number of street vendors who have got loans from banks. But I would urge all the states to compete in maximizing digital transactions and make available the third loan of Rs. 50,000 to the street vendors. I want that there should be a competition in this regard and the states and the cities should be awarded every three or six months. There should be a healthy competition for the welfare and empowerment of the poor. Let’s all, mayors, corporators and counsellors join this competition.

Friends,

There is a saying in our scriptures:

आस्ते भग आसीनः यः ऊर्ध्वः तिष्ठति तिष्ठतः।

शेते निपद्य मानस्य चराति चरतो भगः चरैवेति॥

It means if you pause in your journey of Karma, your success will also cease. If you sleep, success will also sleep. If you stand up then you will be successful. If you move forward, so will success. Therefore, we have to keep moving forward. चरैवेति चरैवेति। चरैवेति चरैवेति। With this mantra, you take the initiative to rid your city of all these problems. We have to build an India that is clean, prosperous, and guides the world towards sustainable life.

I have full faith that with the efforts of all of us, the country will definitely realize its resolve. With these best wishes, thank you all so much! Many congratulations!