New Delhi: The 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi was celebrated with much fanfare across the country on October 2. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Ahmedabad at around 6 PM to participate in a number of programmes and events planned for the day.

Here are the top developments on Gandhi Jayanti:

Tributes to Mahatma Gandhi

After arriving in Ahmedabad in the evening of October 2, PM Modi paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Sabarmati Ashram. He also penned his thoughts in the visitor’s book there which said, “I am satisfied that on the occasion of Gandhi at 150, we are witnessing the fulfilment of his dream of ‘Swachh Bharat’. I feel lucky that on this occasion, when India has successfully stopped open defecation, I’m here at the ashram.”

Earlier in the day at 7:20 AM, PM Modi along with Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat in Delhi. “As we pay reverential homage to the Mahatma on his 150th Birth Anniversary, let us strive to transform our lives by internalizing and implementing the Gandhian principles in our daily life,” tweeted the vice president. Praising Gandhi’s everlasting contribution to humanity, PM Modi said, “We pledge to continue working hard to realise his dreams and create a better planet.”

Rural India is Now Open Defecation Free

At the Sabarmati Riverfront, PM Modi declared the country Open Defecation Free (ODF) in the presence of over 20,000 village heads on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Notably, the target to achieve ODF India by October 2, 2019, was set by the Centre during its launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) on October 2, 2014.

Describing Sabarmati as a motivational place that has witnessed success, PM Modi said, “Today, rural India and its villages have declared themselves ODF. This the power and source of success of the ongoing ‘Swachhta Abhiyan’ (cleanliness drive) being run based on self-motivation and with public participation.”

Nationwide Ban on Single-use Plastic

PM Modi also announced a complete ban on single-use plastic as part of the government’s initiative to make the country plastic-free.

Swachh Bharat Diwas Programme

On the banks of the Sabarmati in Ahmedabad, PM Modi launched a special Swachh Bharat Diwas Programme in recognition of the commendable work of several Swachhagrahis. Earlier in the day, the prime minister tweeted, “From Ahmedabad, a city closely associated with beloved Bapu, we will showcase our efforts towards creating a Swachh Bharat and derive strength to continue working on the tenets shown by Gandhi Ji. We will be lauding those involved in plastic waste cleaning Shramdan.” This campaign was on the Gandhi Jayanti, in remembrance of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals of cleanliness.

PM Modi Addresses Public in Ahmedabad

Addressing a public gathering in Ahmedabad, PM Modi said, “India’s stature is rising at the world stage. Respect for India is increasing all over. One can experience the change. The world can see that India is at the forefront of several positive changes taking place at the world stage.”

Cultural Navratri Event

The Prime Minister also participated in a cultural Navratri event in the city. “I will also join a cultural Navratri event in the city. The vibrant culture of Gujarat is on full display during Navratri! If you have not experienced this festival in Gujarat, you must do so!,” he had tweeted beforehand.