New Delhi: Asserting that Swachhagrah has empowered India to fight against COVID-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that had COVID-19 broken out before 2014, lockdown could not have been imposed with so many people defecating in the open. “Imagine what would have happened had pandemic like Coronavirus broken out before 2014. Could we have imposed lockdown when over 60% population was forced to open defecation?” he said inaugurating the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra. Also Read - 3 Key Characteristics of Delta Plus Variant in India to Watch Out For, Advises Union Health Ministry

“In the last few years, lakhs of people across the country, who are inspired by Gandhiji, have made ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ a goal of their lives. This is the reason that we have been able to provide toilet facility to over 60 crore people in just 60 months,” PM Modi said. Also Read - Tokyo Olympics 2021: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wishes Very Best to Indian Contingent

“The whole world is coming forward to adopt the values and principals of Mahatma Gandhi. When Gandhi ji’s 150th birth anniversary was celebrated last year, that was unprecedented. Singers of different countries learnt and sung his favourite song ‘Vaishnav Jan To’,” PM said. Also Read - Union Cabinet Meet Today Amid Talks of Expansion | Highlights

“We all are a part of a campaign now, ‘Gandagi, Bharat Chorho’. I am glad that all of us, including the children present here, are following social distancing norms and wearing masks, to control the spread of COVID,” the PM added