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Look, who left the garbage - guests at Modi event
Thursday October 2, 2014 10:10 PM, IANS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday launched the Clean India campaign with much fanfare from Rajpath, near India Gate. But his message to clean the country failed to make any immediate impact with most guests seated in the VIP enclosure leaving behind empty water bottles and leaflets on their chairs when they left the venue after the over an hour-long event.

Clean India campaign launch
[Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the Nation on the launch of Swacch Bharat Mission, at India Gate, in New Delhi on October 02, 2014.]

As soon as the function was over, the guests hurriedly got up to join the walkathon, led by Modi, leaving behind used water and lemonade bottles on their chairs.

They did not even bother to pick these up and put them in the huge dustbin kept at the site.

Among those who attended the grand event were Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, actor-singer and Delhi MP Manoj Tewari and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar.

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Overturned dustbins!

It seems more time is needed for Indians to get used to the concept of cleanliness despite Modi administering a pledge to the people.

A huge dustbin kept at the venue for discarded water bottles overturned and its contents were strewn on the road by the time the event at Rajpath ended.

Participants commented about the garbage strewn on the road, but no one stopped to do anything about it.

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Aamir Khan creates a flutter

There was a near-stampede like situation in the VIP and media enclosure when Aamir Khan, who was there to promote the campaign, entered.

Media persons and even some senior bureaucrats were falling over each other to get a glimpse of the actor and some were seen clicking away photographs on their smart phones.

For some time at least, people forgot where they had come or for what event.

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School students steal the show !

Over 5,000 school children, mostly from government schools, were the most enthusiastic participants. They cheered Modi, took the pledge with great enthusiasm and also tried to follow some of the cleanliness tips given by the prime minister.

Many of them carried tricolour balloons and colourful posters. Some posters had interesting themes like "Say farewell to filth, say yes to health" and "No pollution is the best solution".

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Excuse me, I will speak in English

Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu got a huge round of applause when he said that he will gave his address in English.

In the next instant, he said, it was a deliberate move as many people who do not understand Hindi like those from south India too get the message on cleanliness.

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Modi all the way

Despite his packed five-day US visit coupled with early morning back-to-back schedule, Modi did not show any signs of fatigue. The fact that he is observing nine-day long fast for Navratras, did not deter him from patiently signing caps of school children present at Valmiki Colony, where he wielded a broom to symbolically launch the clean India campaign.

One after another, the children came forward to get their white caps signed and Modi obliged them.




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