Cleanliness way ahead to make India disease free: Narendra Modi
"I am sure the day the 125 crore people take a pledge to make India clean, the day won't be far when the entire country will become clean," he said.
"While pre-independence period witnessed attempts to destroy India's indigenous and traditional arts and forms of healthcare like Ayurveda, a large part of post-independence period was spent in neglecting them."
Modi lamented that the indifference led to foreign countries acquiring patents.
"The world now is not just content with curing diseases but there is more emphasis on wellness and preventive healthcare. The best way to ensure and promote preventive healthcare is cleanliness," he said.
"If we resolve to be clean, if we resolve not to litter or spread dirt and filth, we can save more lives than a doctor does. Cleanliness is the way ahead to make India disease free.
"Our ancestors spent their lives making innovations and turning these innovations useful for humanity.
"We must never forget that innovative spirit and continue making efforts to develop our traditional techniques and methods," Modi added.
The Prime Minister remarked that he felt blessed to have prayed at the Lord Kedarnath temple earlier in the day.
He lauded the efforts of Ramdev in popularizing yoga and Ayurveda.
"I am fortunate I have seen Baba Ramdev from close quarters. I can say that his real wealth is his commitment to people's health."
While not much research was done in other fields, Modi said work done by the new generation in IT had indeed drawn global attention towards India.