NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi symbolically wielded the broom Thursday to launch a nationwide campaign that aims to clean up India in five years.
Modi chose the Valmiki colony in Delhi's heart -- a place once home to Mahatma Gandhi -- to do the sweeping in a small area for a minute, in the company of party colleagues and officials.
Modi has said that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan should clean up the country by 2019, the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
India Can Become a Clean India: Modi
Indians need to change their mindset and join hands to clean up India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Thursday.
But cleaning up the country cannot be the sole responsibility of sweepers. "Do citizens have no role in this? We have to change this mindset," Modi said after launching the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
"India can do it, the people of India can do it," he said, addressing a gathering near the India Gate monument.
If Indians can reach Mars, they certainly can clean up the country, the prime minister added to clapping.
"It takes time to change established mindset. It is a difficult task. But we have five years," he said, referring to his stated goal of having a Clean India by 2019, Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary.
"This is not about Modi... Modi is only one of its 1.2 billion people... This is a people's task."