In his widely broadcast programme, ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) on its move to nominate 18-year-old youth from Ganderbal’s Mansbal area as its brand ambassador for ‘Swachata (cleanliness)’ drive.

Bilar Ahmad Dar, 18-yr-old who cleaned Wular lake.Express Photo By Shuaib Masoodi 25-09-2017

“I congratulate the SMC for choosing 18-year-old Bilal Ahmad Dar as brand ambassador of its ‘swachata’ programme. You may think he is a known actor or sports hero. No, Dar since the age of twelve has been engaged in cleanliness of Asia’s largest lake Wular near Srinagar. Dar’s father has died due to cancer. Dar, at a young age, started lifting plastic bottles, polythene and garbage from the lake. He would clean it and earn his livelihood too from the garbage,” said PM Modi during the broadcast.

The Prime Minister said Dar has lifted around 1200 kg of garbage from the lake and has become an inspiration. “I congratulate the SMC for its imagination. Besides, the SMC has provided him a vehicle and a uniform. Dar visits different areas to aware people and inspire other for cleanliness. Dar might be young but he is a big inspiration,” said PM Modi.

He said the cleanliness drive will go a long way to attract tourists to Kashmir, which is a tourist destination. “Every Indian wishes to visit Srinagar and the cleanliness will help attract more tourists,” said PM Modi.

The SMC commissioner Dr Shafqat Khan thanked the PM for the praise. The SMC commissioner said the corporation is holding mega events to make ‘Swachata’ campaign a huge success. “We are engaging NGOs, students and civil society members to ensure that the cleanliness drive is taken take to a new level.”


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