Prime Minister Narendra Modi nominated nine individuals for the Swachh Bharat campaign:
Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Anil Ambani, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, actors Kamal Haasan, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, and all the television actors of Hindi serial 'Tarak Mehta ka Ulta Chashma', to kick off the campaign.
He has asked everyone to upload a video of their cleanliness initiative on social media, and further nominate nine other people to do the same.
This initiative by Modi seems to be on the lines of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which had gove viral recently. It reflects Modi's understanding of what can click with India's youth, who spend a large part of their time on social media.
10:05am: Modi flags off the campaign with a walkathon. School students are marching with banners promoting the 'Swachh Bharat' Campaign.
This is said to be India's biggest cleanliness drive, which will cost ₹62,000 crore and will cover over 4000 towns in the next five years.
Incidentally, Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal reportedly helped sweepers in cleaning up choked drains in a small residential area near Modi's residence in New Delhi, even as the latter launched the Swachh Bharat campaign,.
In fact, the Aam Aadmi party began its own cleanliness drive on Thursday, parallel to Modi's Clean India drive.
AAP will launch a cleanliness drive on 2 October. All MLAs & leaders will work as helpers to safai karmcharis and would help them in their work.
— Aam Aadmi Party (@AamAadmiParty) October 1, 2014
10. 00am: Modi takes a pledge to 'Clean India' with school students. "I will dedicate two hours every week, thus 100 hours every year, towards the cleanliness campaign," Modi pledges.
Actor Aamir Khan joins Modi on the stage for the pledge.
9:45am: "I have nominated nine individuals in the Swachh Bharat campaign:
Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Anil Ambani, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, actors Kamal Haasan, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, and all the television actors of Hindi serial 'Tarak Mehta ka Ulta Chashma'," says Modi.
"They will nominate nine people each, and this chain will continue through social media," he said.
"When you upload a video of cleaning, nominate nine others to do the same," he says.
9:42am: Modi pushes for the use of social media. "We have launched the campaign on social media. If you see any filth anywhere, upload a photo of the place. Then clean it, and again upload a photo to show the difference," says Modi.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) October 2, 2014
9:38am: "Every Indian has to take the responsibility to Clean India," says Modi.
9:35am: "We have to take one step towards cleanliness," says Modi.
9:32am: Mahatma Gandhi had given a message to the British rulers to 'Quit India' and to us a message to 'Clean India'. While we have achieved freedom from the British rule, Gandhiji's dream of 'Clean India' is still incomplete.
9:30am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses school children at Rajpath.
On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi's 145th birth anniversary on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the first-ever nation-wide 'Clean India' campaign (Swacch Bharat Campaign). Modi weilded a broom to kick off the campaign that he had announced during his Independence Day speech.
— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) October 2, 2014
The aim of this campaign is to make India 'clean' by 2019, which will mark Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary. Under the campaign, every city, town and village will be facilitated with pucca toilets, safe drinking water, waste disposal systems and cleans roads.
The campaign is also meant to create awareness about the importance of sanitation and cleanliness, and civil society and social organisations are expected to participate in the campaign. Several companies have also donated funds for the campaign.
More than 30 lakh central government and state government employees will pledge to carry the campaign forward. Hundreds of school and college students will also join the campaign.
One of Modi's main thrust areas in the campaign is providing toilets to all, given that 53 percent of households are still without toilets as per the 2011 census.
In a rare show of political solidarity, Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal also joined the campaign for cleanliness.