Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his widely broadcast programme of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, on Sunday praised the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) for its move to nominate 18-year-old youth from Ganderbal’s Mansbal area as its brand ambassador for its ‘Swachata (cleanliness)’ drive.
“I congratulate the SMC for choosing 18-year-old Bilal Ahmad Dar as brand ambassador of its ‘Swachata’ programme. You may think he is a known actor or sports hero. No, Dar since the age of twelve has been engaged in cleanliness of Asia’s largest lake Wular near Srinagar. Dar’s father has died due to cancer. Dar, at a young age, started lifting plastic bottles, polythene and garbage from the lake. He would clean it and earn his livelihood too from the garbage,” said PM Modi in the programme.
The Prime Minister said Dar has lifted around 1200 kg of garbage from the lake and has become an inspiration. “I congratulate the SMC for its imagination. Besides, the SMC has provided him a vehicle and a uniform. Dar visits different areas to aware people and inspire other for cleanliness. Dar might be young but he is a big inspiration,” said PM Modi.
He said the cleanliness drive will go a long way for Srinagar, which is a tourist destination. “Every Indian wishes to visit Srinagar and the cleanliness will help attract more tourists,” said PM Modi.
SMC commissioner Dr Shafkat Khan thanked the PM for the praise. The SMC commissioner said the corporation is holding mega events to make ‘Swachata’ campaign a huge success. “We are engaging NGOs, students and civil society members to ensure the cleanliness drive to take to a new level.