Kanpur, Sep 15 (PTI) Union minister Uma Bharati, who was recently transferred to the ministry of drinking water and sanitation, today said her connection with the Ganga river will continue despite the portfolio change.

She made the remarks during the ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ (cleanliness is service) campaign here by President Ram Nath Kovind.

“When I was the minister for Ganga (rejuvenation) … I cannot forget Ganga, even if my ministry has changed… My life starts from Ganga and I will be there…,” Bharti said.

The union minister recalled that when she had started a campaign for cleaning of Ganga from 2011 to 2014, President Kovind was a witness to it.

“And today, the President has kick started a fortnight- long ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ (Cleanliness is Service) sanitation campaign,” she added.

Bharti said the main idea behind the campaign was to fulfil Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of clean India as well as meet the prime minister’s target of making the entire country open defecation free by 2019.

“The government is confident of fulfilling the prime minister’s vision of making India open defecation free by October, 2019,” she said.

The sanitation initiative, which is being coordinated by the ministry of drinking water and sanitation, will include ‘Shramdaan’ or voluntary work.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.