Nationwide sanitation drive kicks off with Aamir Khan as brand ambassador

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New Delhi, Apr 28 (ANI): Bollywood actor Aamir Khan has been roped in as the brand ambassador for the country's new nationwide campaign on sanitation, targeting schoolchildren.

Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal and Union Minister for Urban Development Jaipal Reddy inaugurated the event here on Tuesday.

"For me, it is not important how clean or unclean other places are. I think what is important is that we should look at our society and make sure we are doing everything that we can to make surroundings healthier and clean," said Aamir Khan.

"Of course, we can learn from other societies which are doing better, which have something to offer us in the areas of sanitation and cleanliness. So, where all we can learn from, we should. But the core of why we want to be clean is not because others are, it's because we want to be clean and healthy," he added.

Sibal said that awareness is the best tool in improving sanitation and children the best medium to take the mission forward.

"The initiation of this campaign must be at a place where we can have change take place relatively quickly and the place which enables us to bring about this change are the schools in India," said Sibal.

"It was natural for the Ministry of urban development and the ministry of Human Resource Development to come together for this initiative. It is at the school level that the change is going to take place and the impetus for this change is going to be given," he added.

A United Nations (UN) report published this month said that more Indians have access to cell phones than to toilet and basic sanitation.

The report, which eyed upon meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on Sanitation by 2015, showed the country of 1.2 billion people had over 563 million mobile phones, or nearly 50 percent of the population, compared to around 366 million people, or 31 percent of the population, who had access to improved sanitation in 2008. (ANI)

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