New Delhi, September 17Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam on Sunday came to the India Gate lawns to take part in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachchta Hi Seva’ Campaign. However, the newly-appointed minister didn’t find any garbage at designated places. Soon, volunteers arranged for garbage for the minister to clean it.

NDTV reported that after garbage was strewn, the minister began collecting empty bottles, ice cream cups, dry leaves and sachets. He talked to the local golgappa vendors and told them to encourage cleanliness. He also encouraged the customers to adopt clean habits and to throw paper plates in dustbins.

Ironically, the minister later said that this operation would continue without much regard for the camera. Many people passing by did not recognise the minister. Kannanthanam shook hands with the people and urged them to keep the place clean. Besides this, he had a word with the roadside vendors advising them to ask their customers to not to throw the food or other items on road.

“How much do you earn per day? Do you tell customers to throw the waste plates and tissues in the dustbin kept with you? Help us in making India clean,” the minister told a person selling golgappas on road.

The Minister said though a place like India gate is cleaned every day, there was a need to raise the bar. When asked whether he stands by what he had said yesterday over fuel price hike, the minister chose to stay mum,

The India Gate is one of the 15 tourist sites selected by the Ministry of Tourism where the cleanliness campaign will be carried out and popularised by roping in celebrities during the 14-day period, the minister said.

“Cleaning programmes are running across the nation and we have come out to clean India gate and the mission is to keep the nation clean. For this, all will participate even the ministers. The cleaning has to be done every day,” the minister further added.

The other tourist destinations where cleanliness and awareness activities will be conducted by the ministry include Rishikesh Ghats in Uttarakhand, Juhu Beach in Mumbai, Dakshineshwar Temple and Belur Math in Kolkata, Kovalam Beach in Kerala and Kamakhaya temple in Guwahati.

(With Agency Inputs)