On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birthday, India is celebrating Swachh Bharat Divas on October 2, and joining the initiative was the Indian cricket team, with its players sporting Swachch Bharat stickers on their sleeves during the first Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam.
India and South Africa are playing the first of the three Tests of the Gandhi-Mandela series, with the winner receiving the Freedom Trophy.
October 2 marks the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation. Union Sports minister Kiren Rijiju had flagged off the ‘Fit Indian Plog run’ Wednesday morning in Delhi, later joined by wrestler Bajrang Punia at the Indira Gandhi Indoor stadium.
The concept of plogging means cleaning litter while jogging. The Plogging Run initiative – combination of Fit Indian movement and Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan – was launched by Rijiju and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It first began in Sweden in 2016 as an eye-opener against the use of plastic with other countries joining the bandwagon by 2018.
On Wednesday, India coach Ravi Shastri had taken to twitter to urge people to participate in Plog run, stretching two-kilometre long, but ended up on the receiving end of trolls. However, that did not stop his players from stepping into the ground with stickers on right sleeves. As the Indian players stood for the national anthem after the toss, the stickers first came to everyone’s attention.
As for the match, India were given a strong start by Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal, with both scoring half-centuries and putting on a century-plus stand for the opening wicket.