Sydney, Nov 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday invited the Indian diaspora in Australia to participate in the Swachch Bharat or Clean India campaign.
Addressing a 16,000-strong ecstatic Indian diaspora crowd at the Allphones Arena here, the prime minister said cleanliness is an area where his government is focusing.
"Dirt attracts illness and the poor man suffers, due to which work days are lost and monetarily too.. I invite your participation in the drive," he said, as the crowd chanted "Modi, Modi".
Modi also urged the diaspora to build at least one toilet in the village of their origin in India. He expressed admiration for the dignity of labour he has witnessed in Australia.
"When I came earlier to Australia many would ask what have you learnt from Australia - and that is dignity of labour," he said.
He said in Australia people speak with the same respect to a doctor as with a driver. He mentioned how on weekends a research scientist works as a driver to earn money.
"This dignity of labour is something to learn from," he added.
He said he wanted to give the same message of dignity of labour through the Swachch Bharat campaign.
Giving an example, he said in India the garbage collector is called the "kachchra wala". "But he in reality is removing the filth... our mentality needs to change."
He said that today people, including industrialists, are participating in the clean India mission. "I salute them."
He added that on Mahatma Gandhi's 150th anniversary of return to India in 2019 - "the least we can do for Mahatma Gandhi is have a clean India."
He said it would give a fillip to tourism in the country, besides improving the lives of the poor.