KOLLAM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UN Secretary-General António Guterres felicitated Mata Amritanandamayi for her contributions to the Clean India Campaign during the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Cultural Centre in Delhi on Tuesday. She was honoured for donating Rs 100 crore, which remains the largest contribution to the Swachh Bharat Kosh since the launch of the Clean India Campaign four years back.
The Prime Minister thanked Amma for the Mata Amritanandamayi Math’s dedicated service to cleanliness and environmental protection. “Amma has taken this campaign very proactively on her own shoulders. Inspired by various great people and humanitarian leaders like Amma, this campaign has gained immense strength and has transformed from being a campaign into a mass movement,” Modi said.
A video on Amma and her ashram’s cleanliness projects was played during the convention. “As soon as we wake up in the morning, we brush our teeth. Environmental cleanliness is just like that. It’s for our own health and well-being. If we clean a sewage canal with the right attitude, even that becomes service to God,” she said in the video.
Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Uma Bharati, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ramesh Jigajinagi, Minister of Communication and Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State with Independent Charge in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs attended the function. The World Bank regional vice president, UNICEF executive director, ministerial delegations from more than 50 countries were also in attendance.
Amma had presented the Math’s cheque for Rs 100 crore to Arun Jaitley in 2015. The amount was used to build toilets for the poor living along the banks of the Ganges.
Aside from the donation, the Math has also constructed 12,000 toilets for the poor in Kerala and has an ongoing programme where it trains women in plumbing and masonry so that they can build not only their own toilets but toilets for others as well.