Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday received the ‘Global Goalkeeper Award’ from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign.

While accepting the award, the PM said he shared the honour with crores of Indians who had contributed to the success of the cleanliness mission.

“This honour is not mine but of the crores of Indians who not only fulfilled the Swachh Bharat dream but also made it a part of their daily lives. It is very important for me personally to be given this award on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. This is proof that if the manpower of 130 crore people is able to fulfill a single resolution, any challenge can be won,” PM Modi said.

“I am happy that due to the cleanliness survey, there is a competition among states to be at the top in the rankings. India wants to share our experience and expertise in cleanliness and sanitation drive with other countries,” the PM said.

‘Campaign benefited women the most’

Speaking about the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign, PM Narendra Modi said that many girls in the country had to sacrifice their education due to shortage of toilets in schools, and the campaign was designed to tackle such major problems.

“In last five years a record more than 11 crore toilets were constructed. If this mission has benefited someone the most, it is the poor of this country and the women. The Swachh Bharat campaign has benefited women the most; it was one of the biggest problems for the women and daughters. They used to wait for evening to go out to defecate. Many girls had to drop out of school due to lack of a toilet in schools. It was the responsibility of my government to tackle this problem and we did it with sincerity,” Modi said during his speech as he received the Gates award in New York.

‘To get rid of single-use plastic by 2022’

During his speech, PM Modi shared other missions that were recently launched in India. “India is close to achieving its sanitation target, but we are also working steadfastly on other missions as well. ‘Through Fit India’ movement, we are promoting fitness and preventive health care.”

“India has also launched a campaign to get rid of single-use plastic by 2022. Today, while I am talking to you, the work of collecting plastic waste is going on in many parts of India,” he added.

“Our focus is on water conservation and recycling under the Water Life Mission, so that every Indian gets adequate and clean water.”