PM Modi stressed on ‘Swachh Bharat’ and announced  for cleanliness survey during first quarter of  2018

On his last ‘Mann Ki Baat’ of 2017 – the 39th edition of the monthly landmark radio programme – Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation, extending New Year’s wishes and recalling preachings of Jesus Christ. He said that that Jesus preached for serving the society while Gurudev Ramkrishna Paramhans emphasized to “Serve living beings as if worshipping the almighty”.

In a major announcement PM Modi asserted that India will be inviting the leaders of 10 ASEAN countries – Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei – as the chief guests at the next year’s Republic Day parade.

“India looks forward to welcoming ASEAN leaders for Republic Day 2018 celebrations. This is the first time so many leaders will grace the celebrations as the Chief Guests,” said PM Modi.

The Prime Minister also stressed on the ‘Swachh Bharat’ (Clean India) initiative introduced by the saffron government and announced that there will be a cleanliness survey – to be conducted from January 4 to March 10, 2018 – to evaluate achievements in cleanliness level in the urban areas throughout the country.

“Swachh Survekshan begins in January. We will once again have a look at the strides we are making in cleanliness and areas in which we can improve,” said Modi.

“On October 2, 2014, on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, we have all resolved to fulfill his unfulfilled dream of ‘Clean India’. Wide-ranging efforts are being made across the country towards cleanliness. Through people’s participation major change can be seen in the rural and urban areas,” he added.

Further speaking about women’s liberty in the country – especially among Muslims – PM Modi stated that till now Muslim women could not go for Haj without being accompanied by a male guardian. He said that the situation is being changed.

He also said that Muslim women should be excluded from the lottery system for Haj applicants. Modi said, “It had come to our notice that if a Muslim woman wants to go on Haj, she must have a ‘Mehram’ or a male guardian, otherwise, she cannot travel. It was discriminatory, we have changed this rule and this year around 1300 women applied to go without a male guardian.”

“Till date, 1,300 women have applied to travel for the Haj without any Mahram,” the Prime Minister said, adding that “they should get equal opportunity as the men get,” he added.

And yet again speaking about his aim for a new India, Modi called for a country free of castiesm, communalism, terrorism and corruption.

“Equal opportunities should be given to all and let peace, unity and amity be the only guiding forces of New India,” he said.

Also showering praises on the youths of Kashmir, he said, “Just last week, I had the chance of meeting some daughters of Jammu & Kashmir. I was amazed at the spirit that they had, the enthusiasm that was there in their hearts and dreams they nurtured.”