Modi reached the dais after a dip in the waters of the Holy Sangam at Prayagraj, and after conducting a “Charan Vandana” of select sanitation workers, as a mark of respect to their efforts in ensuring a clean Kumbh.
Modi described all those, who have been involved in ensuring the best of arrangements for the devotees gathering at Prayagraj for the Kumbh, as “Karm-Yogis.” In this context, he mentioned the NDRF, the boatmen, the local population, and the sanitation workers as well. Mentioning that over 21 crore people have visited the Kumbh over the last few weeks, he said the sanitation workers have shown that nothing is impossible. He said that they are most deserving, for all the appreciation that the Kumbh has got this year. He said the moments when he offered Charan Vandana to some sanitation workers, would always remain etched in his memory.
PM Modi said that the Swachh Seva Samman Kosh, announced today would help the sanitation workers and their families, in times of need.
Modi said that Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is progressing rapidly. He said the country is moving towards becoming Open Defecation Free before the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, on October 2 this year.
Narendra Modi said that the cleanliness of the River Ganga has also been the subject of much discussion this year. He added that today, he has witnessed it first-hand. He said that this is also a result of the efforts of Namaami Gange, and the Union Government. He said drains falling into the river are being blocked, and sewage treatment plants being built. He said that a few days ago, he received the Seoul Peace Prize, which included an amount of about Rs. 1.30 crore. He said he has donated that amount towards the Namaami Gange Mission. He said the gifts and mementos he has received as Prime Minister have also been auctioned, and their proceeds have also gone towards Namaami Gange.
Modi had a special word of appreciation for the boatmen (Naviks) involved in Kumbh as well. He also noted that for the first time since independence, pilgrims arriving for Kumbh had a chance to visit the Akshay Vat.
Modi thanked everyone present in the gathering for fulfilling his vision of a Kumbh that was a blend of spirituality, faith and modernity. He also appreciated the role being played by the Uttar Pradesh Police in this regard.
Modi said that the arrangements made for Kumbh this year, have included the development of vital infrastructure, which will continue to serve the city, even after the Kumbh Mela is over.