New Delhi: Union Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh flagged off a special plogging awareness drive in Delhi Cantt as part of Swachhta Pakhwada to create awareness against single-use plastic in the country and took part himself in the event, collecting waste material from the area. More than 3,000 people, including schoolchildren participated in the plogging and collected single-use plastic waste.
Rajnath Singh said Mahatma Gandhi had equated spitting with crime, and that Gandhi raised an army of satyagrahis the same way Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the army swachhagrahis. In a very short span of time Swachh Bharat has become a mission.
More than 700 districts in the country have become Open Defecation Free (ODF), Singh said, adding that 10.6 crore toilets have been made in the country and now it is the turn of reducing single-use plastic. “Let us create an awareness against the use of single use plastic,” he urged.
The Defence Minister appreciated nukkad natak, performed by a local theatre group and administered a Swachhta pledge to the people present at the event. The events have been conducted with the aim of spreading awareness against the ill-effects of plastic on the environment, and to bring about behavioural change with respect to sanitation and give up the use of plastic including carry bags, plastic cutlery, and plastic water bottles, said a Press communication from the Ministry of Defence.
Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Shripad Naik also appealed to the people present at the event to stop using single use plastic, saying, “If people start carrying bags with them, single-use plastic may gradually reduce. Doing this, we will be able to save future generations from environment related problems.” Naik also urged people to use environment friendly things instead of plastic.
The Ministry of Defence organised a nationwide plogging program at more than 400 locations today. All three services (Army, Navy, Air Force), Indian Coast Guard, Defence Public Sector Undertakings, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Cantonment boards, National Cadet Corps (NCC), Boarder Road Organisation (BRO) and various other Defence establishments at different locations organised similar such events throughout the country.
The Army cleaned up waste at 17 locations across the country, including Siachen, Jaisalmer, Bhuj and Bairengte (Mizoram).
Similarly, the Indian Navy cleaned up waste at 30 locations including Mumbai, Karwar (Karnataka), Kolkata and Vishakapatnam.
The Indian Air Force also cleaned up waste at 150 locations including Hindon, Upper Shillong (Meghalaya), Nagpur and Trivandrum.
Apart from the three services, ICG organised the exercise in 47 locations; Cantonment Boards at 62 locations; NCC at 18 locations; Sainik Schools in 31 locations, BRO in 18 locations; and the Comptroller General of Defence Accounts at 20 locations across the country.
The slogan for this event is ‘Plastic Se Raksha – Swachhata Hi Suraksha.’ The Swachhta anthem played at all events. Community awareness programs such as nukkad nataks, debates, quizzes, painting competitions among students were also organised.