Modi Invites Diaspora to Join in Swachch Bharat, Build Toilets

Modi dedicated the respect and ovation he received at the gathering at Sydney, attended by over 16,000 members of the Indian Australian community, to the Indian people.

Published: 17th November 2014 02:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th November 2014 04:14 PM   |  A+A-


SYDNEY: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday invited the Indian diaspora in Australia to participate in the Swachch Bharat or Clean India campaign.

Addressing a 16,000-strong ecstatic Indian diaspora crowd at the Allphones Arena here, the prime minister said cleanliness is an area where his government is focusing.

"Dirt attracts illness and the poor man suffers, due to which work days are lost and monetarily too.. I invite your participation in the drive," he said, as the crowd chanted "Modi, Modi".

Modi also urged the diaspora to build at least one toilet in the village of their origin in India. He expressed admiration for the dignity of labour he has witnessed in Australia.

>> Watch: Modi Fever Grips Sydney; PM Addresses Indian Community

"When I came earlier to Australia many would ask what have you learnt from Australia - and that is dignity of labour," he said.

He said in Australia people speak with the same respect to a doctor as with a driver. He mentioned how on weekends a research scientist works as a driver to earn money.

"This dignity of labour is something to learn from," he added.

He said he wanted to give the same message of dignity of labour through the Swachch Bharat campaign.

Giving an example, he said in India the garbage collector is called the "kachchra wala". "But he in reality is removing the filth... our mentality needs to change."

He said that today people, including industrialists, are participating in the clean India mission. "I salute them."

He added that on Mahatma Gandhi's 150th anniversary of return to India in 2019 - "the least we can do for Mahatma Gandhi is have a clean India."

He said it would give a fillip to tourism in the country, besides improving the lives of the poor.

71 M Jan Dhan Rural Accounts Opened, Rs.5,000 Cr Deposited: PM

Over 71 million bank accounts have been opened through the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana so far in the villages in India and the money deposited amounts to Rs.5,000 crore, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here in his address at the Allphones Arena Monday.

Addressing the euphoric crowd of around 16,000 Indian diaspora, Modi said that this was done by the same government infrastructure, the same government servants and with the same habits, "but the work has got done".

He said when he asked the Reserve Bank of India, he was told by the officers it would take three years to open bank accounts in the villages.

He said he then approached the finance ministry which said it would take two years, while his own Prime Minister's Office said one year.

"I heard everyone, and announced Aug 15 that I want the work in 150 days," he said."I said that Jan 26 is the final date, and "all bank employees are on overdrive" to get rural families access to the banking system.

>>Video: PM Modi Recieves a Grand Welcome in Sydney

Indian Cultural Centre in Sydney, Visa on Arrival: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday announced opening of an Indian cultural centre in Sydney by February 2015 and visa on arrival for tourists from Australia.

The prime minister made the two announcements in his address to an euphoric crowd of several thousand Indian expatriates at the Allphones Arena here.

>>Read: India's Policies Transparent and Predictable: Modi 

Fortunate To Be Born Post-1947: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said that that it was his good fortune to be the first Indian prime minister to be born post-Independence.

"It is my good fortune that I'm the first prime minister of India to be born post-1947," Modi said at a massive gathering of the Indian diaspora at the Allphones Arena.

"We did not get the opportunity to die for the nation or spend our youth in jail. But we can surely live for the nation," he said.

At the gathering, which was attended by over 16,000 members of the Indian Australian community, Modi dedicated the respect and ovation that he was getting in Australia to the Indian people.

"This welcome, this respect, this enthusiasm...I dedicate it to the people of India," he said.

The prime minister lamented that "it took 28 years for (an Indian prime minister) to come here."

The last Indian prime minister to visit Australia was Rajiv Gandhi.

>>Read: Queensland Can Be Partner in India's Development: Modi 

"My friends in Australia, I assure you... you won't have to wait for 28 years," Modi said.

Modi arrived in Australia Nov 14 to attend the G20 summit in Brisbane. He will also address the Australian parliament and visit Melbourne during his stay.


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