Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday took part in the cleanliness drive organised as part of the 'Swachhata Hi Seva' campaign along with wrestler-turned-fitness influencer Ankit Baiyanpuriya. Heeding the PM's call, thousands across the country, including Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief J P Naddha, took part in the campaign.
Sharing a video with Ankit where he was seen yielding the broom, the Prime Minister tweeted: "Today, as the nation focuses on Swachhata, Ankit Baiyanpuriya and I did the same! Beyond just cleanliness, we blended fitness and well-being also into the mix. It is all about that Swachh and Swasth Bharat vibe!"
In the video, Modi was heard asking Ankit how the Swachhata mission would help his fitness. Ankit replies that it was our responsibility to keep our nature clean. "If it remains clean, we will stay fit." To the Prime Minister's question on how his home town Sonipat was taking to the campaign, Ankit said "people of Sonipat have started focusing on cleanliness."
The Prime Minister then asked Ankit about his fitness journey and how much time he dedicated towards the same. Ankit replied it was "4-5 hours". To this, the PM said: "I don't do much of physical activities. "I do sufficient physical activities needed to accomplish my day-to-day activities," Modi added.
In a recent episode of "Mann Ki Baat", Modi appealed for "one hour of shramdaan for swachhata" on October 1 by all citizens and said it would be a "Swachhanjali" to Mahatma Gandhi on the eve of his birth anniversary.
While Shah and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel were seen sweeping the streets in Ahmedabad, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adithyanath joined the campaign in Sitapur. BJP chief JP Nadda also took part in the drive in Delhi's Jhandewalan area.
Cricketers such as Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma also appealed to the people to come together for "Ek Tareekh, Ek Ghanta, Ek Saath" and join the largest citizen-led movement to strengthen the resolve towards cleanliness.
According to the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, more than 9.20 lakh sites across the country have been adopted for the mega drive.
NGOs, market associations, self-help groups, faith groups, trade bodies and private sector companies, among others, volunteered for the "shramdaan" in more than 22,000 market areas, 10,000 water bodies, 7,000 bus stands/toll plazas, 1,000 gaushalas, 300 zoos and wildlife areas and various other locations in rural and urban India, the ministry added.
Among the states, Uttar Pradesh adopted more than a lakh sites for cleanliness drives while Maharashtra will conduct the programme in over 62,000 locations, including beaches, religious places, schools, colleges and water bodies.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi said it held cleanliness drives at 500 locations across the national capital. In Telangana, temples of historical significance were cleaned during the drive.
(With PTI inputs)