BENGALURU: Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar urged Indians to keep their homes clean as he launched Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swacchata hi Seva’ movement here on Saturday. The movement will mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. Modi interacted with Ravi Shankar at The Art of Living International Center, and with groups of people across the country through video conference. He also spoke to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, actor Amitabh Bachchan and industrialist Ratan Tata. Modi said 9 crore toilets had been built and 4.5 lakh villages had been declared open defecation-free during the four years of his government. “India will not become clean only by building toilets. Cleanliness is a habit which we should follow every day,” he said.
Addressing the video conference, Ravi Shankar said, “Aggression and depression are the two main reasons for lack of hygiene. To come out of these two tendencies, we need to fill people with confidence that they can take the country to great heights.”Exhorting people to keep their homes clean, he pointed out how windowsills and sinks were neglected at many homes and advised them to clean them. He said that when the Prime Minister himself urges people to do something, it has a bigger effect on them.
“We should keep public spaces clean too, and for that we should have a feeling of ownership of such spaces,” he said.Following the session, residents of the the ashram started cleaning four villages near the Ashram — Udaipalia, OB Chudahalli, Laxmi Pura and Saldoddi. They were joined by panchayat leaders of the villages. The cleanliness drive will be carried across India by volunteers of the organisation from September 15 to October 2.