Millions of people across States came out and offered “shramdan” on the first big day- “SevaDiwas” of the two week “Swachhata Hi Seva” Campaign initiated on 15th September 2017 in response to the clarion call given to citizens by the Prime Minister. This massive turnout saw people from all walks of life digging toilets, undertaking cleaning of public places like bus stands, mandis, railway stations, statues, roads and pathways across the country. Union Ministers joined millions of countrymen across the length and breadth of the country in this unprecedented campaign on sanitation. Sushri Uma Bharati, Minister, MDWS led the campaign and joined people in Uttar Pradesh where she offered shramdan and spoke to people on safe management of liquid and solid waste. She termed the massive turnout of people as “unprecedented” and vowed to take the campaign to all villages of the country.
Smriti Irani, Minister, I&B joined people in the cleanliness drive in Kendri village in Raipur. She was joined by the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Shri Raman Singh. She said Chhattisgarh would soon become Open Defecation Free and all credits for this goes to the common people of Chattisgarh. Defence Minister Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman visited Delhi Cantonment to join people in making their environments clean and free from open defecation. Sri S.S. Ahluwalia, Union Minister of State for Drinking Water & Sanitation, inaugurated Pit Digging Programme for Twin Pit Individual Household Toilets at Bhagalpur Village near Indo- Bangladesh Border in Tripura. Several other Union Ministers, Chief Ministers and dignitaries also joined shramdan. Staff and officers of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation along with Indian Railways joined hands to clean the Nizamuddin Railway station, New Delhi in early hours of the morning. Officials of both Ministries cleaned up filth and talked to workers on maintaining cleanliness on railway platforms.
Gram Pradhans had made special arrangements for people collectively viewing the film Toilet Ek Prem Katha telecast by DD at the initiative of MDWS. The film carries a powerful message for the need of sanitation in rural India with a woman successfully fighting traditional mindset to get a toilet in her household. Massive awareness campaign activities have been undertaken in states for mobilizing people for action on sanitation. Gram Sabhas, Communication drives, inter personal communication initiatives are underway in almost all districts to ensure that people are made aware of the benefits of improved sanitation. States have commissioned specially designed Swachhata Raths for informing, educating and mobilizing people.