Prime Minister Narendra Modi will declare India open defecation free as India celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi on Wednesday. On the ocassion of Gandhi Jayanti, Modi will also visit the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. To mark the sesquicentennial year of Gandhi's birth anniversary, several events will be organised in Gujarat, the home state of Gandhi and other parts of the country.
Modi is also scheduled to launch a campaign against use of single-use plastic on October 2 in an attempt to make sure that India is devoid of single-use plastic by 2022. This is also a desperate attempt by the country to revive its rank from among the world’s most polluted.
Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani said that the prime minister will arrive at the Ahmedabad airport around 6 pm, and will be greeted by BJP workers at a function organised there by the party's city unit. He will then visit the Sabarmati Ashram to pay tributes to the Father of the Nation.
From there, he will go to the Sabarmati Riverfront, where he will declare the country open defecation-free (ODF) in the presence of over 20,000 village heads, he said. People associated with Gandhian institutions, high court judges, Padma awardees, students, educationists and village-level sanitation workers have been invited for the function.
People visiting Gujarat to attend the October 2 function at Sabarmati Riverfront will be taken to different places associated with Mahatma Gandhi, like the memorial at Dandi, which is associated with the historic salt march led by him in 1930, and the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.
The administration of Navsari district, where Dandi is located, has organised a mega cleanliness drive at the Dandi beach, where Gandhi made salt as part of a civil disobedience movement, known as the 'Salt Satyagrah'.
Around 1,500 people are likely to join the drive to clean Dandi beach, Navsari collector Ardra Agarwal said. At the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad's Sabarmati, the day will begin with a 'Sarva Dharm Prarthana' (all faith prayer) to be held around 8.30 am.
Around 900 students from primary schools across the state will gather at the Sabarmati Ashram and some of them will share their views on Gandhi's teachings of non-violence. The ashram trust said these children are among the 30,000 students from government primary schools who are being taught a lesson in non-violence by facilitators trained at the Sabarmati Ashram.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani will spend the morning in Porbandar, the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi, and will dedicate to the city a riverfront constructed on the Asmavati river at a cost of Rs 44 crore. He will also attend a prayer meet at Kirti Mandir, the ancestral house of the Gandhi family where Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869.
(With PTI Inputs)