Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed 20,000 ‘Swachhagrahis’ in Champaran, Bihar on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagraha.
As the event marked the pinnacle of the week-long campaign named ‘Satyagraha se Swachhagraha’ that was run in Bihar from April 3 onwards, PM Modi presented 10 Swachhagrahis with awards who performed excellently in their respective villages during the campaign.
The ‘Champaran Satyagraha‘ campaign was launched by Mahatma Gandhi on April 10, 1917, the event marked the end of centenary celebrations of Champaran Satyagraha with the ‘Satyagraha se Swachhagraha’ campaign aiming to achieve freedom from filth. Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, and Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Uma Bharti were also present at the occasion.
During the event, PM Modi delivered a moving speech and specially mentioned the named of some of the most dedicated faces working towards the success of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
While presenting his speech, PM Modi broke the protocols and asked the media to focus their cameras on the Secretary of Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry, Parameswaran Iyer. PM was all praises for him and exclaimed that he is the man who has left his job in the US and came to India to work for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Later, he told the masses about how he cleaned the toilet with his bare hands while contributing to the drive.
When PM failed to spot the retired IAS officer on the stage while he was sharing about his achievements, he asked the media to direct their cameras and locate him among the crowd. He said:
“Parameswaran Iyer a retired IAS officer had moved to US and was living a peaceful life there. After forming our Government here, I summoned a lot of officers and he was one of them. I am extremely delighted that he left his life in US and came to India on just a call. I took him in my government and handed over the job of Swacchagraha to him.”
Not only officer Iyer, PM Modi praised Bihar CM Nitish Kumar as well for his efforts to make Bihar a cleaner state.
Meet Parameswaran Iyer:
Parameswaran Iyer, 56, is a retired IAS officer from the UP cadre. Before his retirement from office, he launched the Jal Suraj program in UP in 2009 and then shifted to the US to join the World Bank. In 2016, he was made the Secretary of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Here are other highlights of the speech by PM Narendra Modi during the occasion:
He started his speech in Bihari language to address the crowd when he said, “Mahatma Gandhi initiated Champaran Satyagraha with the support of people who came from all over India in Bihar 100 years ago. Now, we are taking Bapu’s initiative, a step ahead. People who say that history does not repeat itself can come here and witness history being repeated where a century old initiative still prevails in the roots of the state. We are observing those ‘swachhagrahis’ who follow the preaching of Gandhi and work towards them. I salute all these ‘swachhagrahis’ and the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi that rests in them.”
Modi addressed the mass by saying:
“100 years ago, the world witnessed the representation of revolution in the pious land of Champaran when the people from all over the world assembled to protest here. Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, they worked from street-to street. Taking the spirit forward, all the ‘swachhagrahis’ here, have worked together hand-in-hand to create a difference. There is a Kasturba, a Raj Kumar Shukla, a Gorakh Prasad, a Harivansh Rai and a Dr. Rajendra Bapu present in the ‘swachhagrahis’ who are sitting in the crowd.”
He later said:
“Just like, the satyagraha revolution gave a new direction to the people 100 years ago, ‘Swachhagraha’ is giving a new direction to the people here right now. I salute that spirit of excitement and energy of the people of Bihar present here who are working towards the national development.”
Watch the full speech by PM Modi at Champaran here: