How Swachh Bharat Abhiyan started

By Sara . Updated: January 16, 2017
How Swachh Bharat Abhiyan started

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan means Clean India Mission. It is India’s biggest ever cleanliness drive which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan started on 2nd October 2014 on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at Valmiki Basti in New Delhi where Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself cleaned the road.

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Objective of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan started with the aim to achieve the vision of a clean India by 2nd October 2019 which is the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. This campaign does not have any political colours and is percieved as an action that is "inspired by patriotism".

Its objectives are:

1. Eradication of manual scavenging.

2. Elimination of open defecation.

3. Conversion of insanitary toilets to pour flush toilets.

4. Behavioral change in people regarding healthy sanitation practices.

5. 100% collection and scientific processing/disposal/recycling of municipal solid waste.

6. Generation of awareness among citizens about santiation and its linkages with public health.

7. Supporting urban local bodies in designing, executing and operating waste disposal systems.

8. Facilitating private-sector participation in capital expenditure, operation and maintenance costs for sanitary facilities.

2nd October 2014

Usually, October 2nd, which is Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary is a public holiday. But 2nd October 2014 was ordered to be a full working day for all Government employees. On this day the Prime Minister instructed the bureaucrats and ministers to lead their departments in cleaning offices, including toilets.

Start of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

On the morning of 2nd October 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat, New Delhi and then he headed to a housing colony, Valmiki Basti, where the sanitation workers live. There, Mr. Modi swept the streets as a symbolic start to the cleanliness drive.

How Swachh Bharat Abhiyan started - Start of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

The Cleanliness Pledge and Walkathon

Later on the same day the Indian PM led a cleanliness pledge at India Gate in which 30 lakh government employees joined. In his address Mr. Modi said that the campaign was the best tribute to Mahatma Gandhi who gave us the message "Quit India, Clean India". Then a walkathon was started at Rajpath in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took part.


Then Prime Minister nominated 9 public figures to help this campaign spread around the country. The people nominated to act as spokespeople for this campaign are Sachin Tendulkar, Baba Ramdev, Kamal Hassan, Kapil Sharma, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Ambani, Rajdeep Bais, Salman Khan, Shashi Tharoor. He also nominated the team of the TV series Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasmah.

Indian Bollywood star Aamir Khan also widely showed support and has since encouraged this initiative and, though not directly nominated, has said he would be happy to join the campaign.

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