IMPHAL, Oct 2 - Manipur became the 23rd Open Defecation Free (ODF) State of India and the fifth ODF State in North East India under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) on the National Cleanliness Day observed here today.
Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla handed over the certificate of ODF Manipur to Chief Minister N Biren Singh at a function held at the Gandhi Memorial Hall here.
She also handed over the best �Swachhagrahi� award to seven individuals for their selfless and outstanding work in organising campaigns on sanitation and safe drinking water.
The Google Toilet Locator and Swacchta App have already been launched in the State to locate the nearest public toilet and provide a web platform on which citizens can upload photos of garbage to help the authorities remove it.
Speaking at the function on Tuesday, the Governor said that the present generation should try to imbibe values of tolerance and humanism from the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi for a better world order.
�For Gandhiji, the political independence of India was not the end. It was the beginning of real freedom, that is economic freedom of the country,� she added. The Swachh Bharat initiative is aimed towards the end of keeping the environment clean.
In his address, Chief Minister Singh appreciated the efforts of officials and schools authorities to conduct regular cleanliness drives on their premises.
Meanwhile, referring to the bandh called by candidates for police constabulary, the Chief Minister said that the case is still pending at the High Court. He appealed to the people to refrain from calling bandhs and blockades. �Manipur could be the number one State of the country if we build up a productive work culture and refrain from calling bandhs, general strikes and blockades in the State,� he added.
Regarding the ongoing situation in the Manipur University, Singh said the Government has initiated talks to restore normalcy and maintain the academic atmosphere at the varsity.
Earlier, Governor Dr Heptulla led the dignitaries in offering floral tribute on the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.
Meanwhile, the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee also observed the National Cleanliness Day at the Congress Bhavan here with former Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and others in attendance.