The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee flagged off the Sachch Bharat Mission at Kirnahar, Birbhum District of West Bengal by administering pledge to the students and others at Kirnahar Shib Chandra High School and joining hands with the students of the school in cleanliness drive. The President also paid floral tributes at the portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Shri Lal Bahadur Sastri, former Prime Minister of India on the occasion of their birth anniversaries.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Mukherjee called upon all to get themselves involve in the mission of making India clean. He said that it is not possible for the government alone to accomplish the tasks of eradication of illiteracy, bringing cleanliness, keeping the environment green and maintaining ecological and environmental balance. In order to attain these goals, involvement of the larger and the responsible sections of the society along with the government is very much necessary. Underscoring the importance of cleanliness, Shri Mukherjee referred to a lesson he learnt when he was a student of Shib Chandra School itself. It suggested that in order to make one’s won village look like a picture again, one has to keep his home and its surroundings clean. He also cited the instances of Vietnam and Cuba where people’s involvement has greatly contributed to attaining social objectives like removal of illiteracy and bringing cleanliness. The President said if the non-governmental efforts are not combined with the government’s endeavor, we will not be able to make much progress. Shri Mukherjee also referred to the UN’s Social Summit held at Copenhagen of Denmark in 1995 where 10 commitments were made. The third commitment was that every country must make the environment clean, he said. The President said that government has accorded much more priority to cleanliness and has taken it up as a mission. Accordingly, the program is being launched today in 6 Lakh villages and a number of cities in the country. Enlisting hundred volunteers by each one who has taken Swachhta pledge today would go a long way in making the country clean, the President said. He also said that by involving ourselves in the mission, we would repay the dividend for the social investment that has been made on us and thus would be able to attain a life which would be desirable and aspired for.

Shri Abhijit Mukherjee, MP, Shri P Mohan Gandhi, District Magistrate, Birbhum, Shri Nasim Khan, President of the School and Shri Nilkamal Bandyopadhyay, Head Master of the School, among others, were present on the occasion.

The President also garlanded the statues of the freedom fighter Shri Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee and Shri Shib Chandra Sarkar , founder of the School. He also offered floral tribute at the portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Shri Lal Bahadur Sastri in Kamada Kinkar Smriti Vidyapith, Mirati. In that primary school, named after the President’s father, the students were administered the Swachhta pledge.

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