Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed for the need to get rid of single-use plastic on Wednesday. He was addressing the ceremony to inaugurate the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh (UP). Dignitaries like UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Mathura Member of Parliament Hema Malini were present on the occasion. He also flagged off the 'Swachhata Hi Seva' initiative as well as the National Artificial Insemination Programme.
PM Modi said that India would celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi after a few days. He stressed that it was our duty to learn from Mahatma Gandhi’s uncompromising stand on environment and cleanliness. He implied that it was necessary to imbibe those qualities. According to PM Modi, this would be the best possible tribute to Gandhi.
''Mahatma Gandhi's 150 birth anniversary year is a year of inspiration. This is the logic behind the commencement of the‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ campaign. This movement, starting today has been dedicated to the elimination of plastic menace. Brothers and sisters, the problem arising out of plastic usage is becoming dangerous day by day. You, the residents of Mathura know very well how plastic leads to the death of animals,'' he opined.
The PM observed that other species like fish living in lakes, ponds and rivers were at high risk after consuming plastic. He used an example to drive home the necessity to get rid of single-use plastic. He emphasized that Indians had to try and eliminate single-use plastic from their homes, offices and workplaces. PM Modi appealed to self-help groups, the civil society, social organizations, youth associations, women advocacy groups, clubs, schools and colleges, government and private sector organizations to join this initiative. He stated that this was critical for the bright future of the next generations. He further added that the government would make arrangements to collect garbage, out of which plastic would be recycled. The PM observed that if it was not recycled for some reason, it would be put to use in cement factories and construction of roads.
After assuming office as the PM for the second time in 2019, PM Modi has been very vocal in pushing for the elimination of single-use plastic waste. Initially, he talked about it from the ramparts of the Red Fort during his Independence Day speech. Subsequently, the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan launched an anthem as part of a campaign to make India plastic-free by 2022. PM Modi also urged other countries to follow India's lead in the efforts to end the usage of single-use plastic, while addressing the 14th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Greater Noida earlier this week.