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Prime Minister Narendra Modi felicitates the Safai Karmacharis working in Kumbh

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, honoured and paid respect to the safai karamcharis working in the Kumbh Mela, by washing the feet of five of them. The Prime Minister washed and wiped each of their feet in a private interaction. He also had a brief conversation with them before joining the main event.

The gesture was a part of the ”Swachh Kumbh, Swachh Aabhaar” programme, where the Prime Minister addressed a gathering of 10,000 safai karamcharis, swachhagrahis, police personnel and naviks of the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj yesterday. The gathering was organized by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in association with the Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP).

The event was aimed at honouring the contribution of about 18,000 Safai Karamcharis who have been deployed at the Mela to ensure cleanliness of toilets and general cleanliness. 1,500 Swachhagrahis have also been deployed at the Kumbh for monitoring and reporting of toilet conditions, toilet usage and other cleanliness status. Speaking about the cleanliness standards of the Kumbh, the Prime Minister said that over one lakh public toilets and 20,000 dustbins have been installed in the Kumbh Mela area, besides other sanitation facilities and care.

The Prime Minister emphasized that given the efforts of the safai karamcharis and swachhagrahis, sanitation in India has garnered global appreciation and the Kumbh serves testament to not only showcase the rich cultural unity in diversity of India, but in instilling the strong message of Swachhata in all future events and festivals. The Prime Minister highlighted how Kumbh 2019 has been implemented as a “Digital Kumbh”, which sets precedence all upcoming mass conventions as well.

To honour the tremendous work being done by the Safai Karamchaaris and Swachhagrahis, the Prime Minister also announced a package of benefits, the “Swachh Seva Sammaan” which focused on health, education and economic security of all eligible safai karamcharis who worked at the Kumbh this year. The package is rolled out using a corpus of Rs. 51 crore, named the Swachh Kumbh Kosh, set up under the Kumbh Mela Pradhikaran using CSR support from central public sector units. Registration camps have been set up for implementing the package in the run up to and after the main event, and it was announced that the registrations of all eligible Karamcharis will be completed by March 15, 2019.

The Prime Minister also lauded the work done by Police personnel, both State and Central Police Forces, as well as Naviks (boatmen) working at the Kumbh, in making the Kumbh safe and secure for all devotees visiting this year, as he gave away awards to six Safai Karamcharis, six police personnel, two Swachhagrahis, and two Naviks for their exceptional contribution to the Kumbh this year.

The Chief Minister, Shri Yogi Adityanath, and Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Sushree Uma Bharti, and other dignitaries joined the Prime Minister on the dais as he addressed the gathering of the 10, 000 Kumbh workers.

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