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New Delhi: The Swachh Bharat Week that began on the 25th of September concluded on Sunday with Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh becoming the first states to declare all their cities and towns as Open Defecation Free (ODF) and a few districts including Porbandar also declared ODF on the 147th birth anniversary of Mahatama Gandhi which is also the second anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission.

Porbandar, the native district of Mahatma, and all the 180 cities and towns in Gujarat were declared ODF in the presence of Union Minister of Drinking Water & Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani at a special programme in Porbandar, according to a PIB release.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu declared all 110 cities and towns in the state as ODF at a programme in Tirupati.

Addressing the participants of the Porbandar programme through a video-link, Minister of Urban Development  M Venkaiah Naidu said “Declaration of Porbandar district and other areas as Open Defecation Free today is an interim gift to Mahatma on the occasion of his birth anniversary and the final gift of Swachh Bharat would be presented to Gandhiji on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary on October 2,2019. The Mood of Developing India (MODI) being strongly for sanitation, Swachh Bharat Mission is becoming a people’s movement and Swachh Bharat will be realized with people leading the grand India Sanitation Alliance of all stakeholders.”

In a similar address to Tirupati programme, Naidu urged the people to become ‘Swachhagrahis’ to make the country free from poor hygiene in the spirit of ‘Satyagrahis’ who won political freedom for the country under the leadership of Gandhiji. He said that Rs 186 crore was sanctioned on Sunday to Andhra Pradesh for focusing on solid waste management in urban areas.

Shri Naidu complimented Chief Ministers, ministers concerned, Mayors, Councillors, Municipal Commissioners, the people and all others concerned for making urban areas of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh Open Defecation Free.

Speaking at a Short Film Festival on Sanitation organized by the Ministry of Information& Broadcasting and National Film Development Corporation,  Naidu said “While Prime Minister Narendra Modi triggered interest of the people in Swachh Bharat, the mission is a people’s movement and the credit for building Swachh Bharat would go to the people and all stakeholders including Chief Ministers, elected representatives of the people and others.” Naidu also released a book ‘In the Footsteps of Mahatma : Gandhi and Sanitation’ published by the Publications Division of the Ministry of I&B.

A Postal Stamp on Swachhat was released today by Venkaiah Naidu and Minister of Communications Manoj Sinha in New Delhi. Altogether 405 cities and towns have so far claimed to have become Open Defecation Free.

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