New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on the eve of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi urged all to celebrate the occasion by re-dedicating themselves to the values of truth, non-violence, harmony, morality and simplicity.

“150th Gandhi Jayanti is a special occasion for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the values of truth, non-violence, harmony, morality and simplicity. Satya, Ahimsa and Sarvodaya formed the bedrock of Mahatama Gandhi’s numerous messages to humanity,” President Kovind said in his address on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti.

He said that Mahatman Gandhi was respected as a global icon across continents for his great values. “Gandhiji is a global icon revered across continents. United Nations has marked Gandhi Jayanti as ‘The International Day of Non-Violence’. Gandhian values and many of his methods remain relevant not only for India but for the entire world,” he further said.

The President said that Mahatma Gandhi has brought many social reformations in society and has shown the path to communal unity.

“Gandhiji’s vision and action encompassed almost every facet of individual and collective life. He showed us the path to communal unity, removal of untouchability, upliftment of women, education, sanitation, preserving the environment and water,” he said.

Talking about Central government’s ambitious plan ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, which aims at making the country clean, President said that people of the nation have paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi through this initiative of the government.

“By taking up the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ as a movement, the people of India have paid homage to the Father of the Nation,” he said, adding, “Our nation’s emphasis is on inclusive growth, transparency and honesty in public life, health-care support to the poor, support to the farmers and effective utilization of water resources is in keeping with the thoughts of Gandhi Ji.”

A nation-wide campaign from 2014 to 2019, ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, towns, urban and rural areas. The prime objective of the program is to eliminate open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring toilet use.

Earlier in the day, Union Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated a ‘charkha’ (spinning wheel) made of used plastic waste in Noida. This was done to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

A number of event and activities are being planned by the Central and state governments to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2. Born on October 2, 1869, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, world-wide known as Mahatma Gandhi, successfully led India’s independence movement from the British rule.