Modi invokes Gandhi to bat for ‘economic cleanliness’

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi to the cleanliness movement in his monthly Mann ki Baat address on Sunday and said his principles can also be used for “economic cleanliness” through digital platforms like UPI and direct benefit transfer to Jan Dhan accounts of beneficiaries.

Modi said Gandhi gave importance to minor issues as he knew they had the potential to accomplish big resolutions. ““My dear countrymen, never make the mistake of treating minor issues, little things as insignificant. At times, through small efforts very significant changes take place. If we look at the life of Mahatma Gandhi we will find that on several occasions small things had so much significance and how by using small issues he accomplished big goals,” he said.

The Prime Minister referred to the campaign for cleanliness and how it energized the freedom movement. “It was Mahatma Gandhi who turned cleanliness into a mass movement,” he said.

In a similar vein, Gandhi’s principles can be used to bring economic cleanliness, the Prime Minister said. He had received this idea from a citizen who had written to him.

The Prime Minister had referred to Mahatma Gandhi’s trusteeship principle in his interaction with US President Joe Biden during his visit to Washington and said trusteeship of the environment by us can help the future generations.

In his Mann ki Baat address, Modi said, “The way building of toilets enhanced the dignity of poor, similarly economic cleanliness ensures rights of the poor and eases their life. You are aware of the campaign that the country started regarding Jan Dhan accounts. Today, because of this the rightful money of the poor is getting credited directly into their accounts and hurdles created by corruption have reduced very significantly.”

He emphasized that technology could help in a big way in ushering in economic cleanliness.

“It is matter of delight for us that in villages, the common people are getting connected to digital transactions through fin-tech UPI… its prevalence has been increasing…. During last August, 355 Crore UPI transactions took place in one month, that is more than nearly 350 Crore transactions, that is, we can say that during the month of August UPI was used for digital transactions more than 350 crore times. Today, on an average, digital payments of more than Rs 2 lakh crore are taking place through UPI. Through this the economy of the country is becoming clean and transparent,” he said.

The Prime Minister also called upon the people to buy khadi products, another project of Gandhi.

“Production of Khadi and handloom has increased multiple times and its demand too has increased. You too know that there were many such occasions when business of more than Rs 1 Crore was transacted in the khadi showroom in Delhi,” he said, adding that on the forthcoming birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2, people should aim to set a new record.

“In your city wherever khadi is sold, handloom is sold, handicraft is sold and now that the festival of Diwali is here… for the festive season, every khadi, handloom, cottage industry purchase of yours should strengthen the campaign of ‘Vocal for Local’, it should break all old records,” Modi said.

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