Delhi, 2 October, 2015
Children cleaning the footpath as part of the Swatch Bharat Campaign at Connaught Place on Thursday. —Photo: R.V. Moorthy Connaught Place was witness to a different kind of Gandhigiri on Thursday when school children carried out a sanitation drive in honour of the father of the nation on the eve of his birth anniversary. Marking Gandhi Jayanti, Sulabh International held a cleanliness drive with the help of 250 students, 50 former manual scavengers from Rajasthan, 30 widows from Vrindavan and 200 of the NGO’s own volunteers. The volunteers scrubbed the Inner Circle of paan stains and painted the columns white, apart from clearing trash from the streets and distributing flower and pamphlets to the public about cleanliness. Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak encouraged Delhi school students to work towards a cleaner city, at a time the country marks the first anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’s launch. Dr. Pathak also announced a Rs.25 lakh ‘Sulabh Swachh Bharat Award’, which was given to Airtel’s Bharti Foundation. Dr. Pathak said the award was given for the foundation’s work in Punjab, where it built a record number of toilets in the Ludhiana district. The award has been set up to encourage work in sanitation and recognise those who have contributed towards it, he said. Sulabh had earlier celebrated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday on September 17 as ‘Clean India Day’.