Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently inaugurated the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra – an interactive experience centre on the Swachh Bharat Mission, at the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti at Rajghat, New Delhi. A tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra (RSK) was first announced by the Prime Minister on 10th April 2017, on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of Gandhiji’s Champaran Satyagraha. Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhavat, Minister, Jal Shakti and Shri Rattan Lal Kataria, Minister of State, Jal Shakti were present on the occasion.
Tour of Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra
The RSK has a balanced mix of digital and outdoor installations tracking India’s transformation from having over 50 crore people defecating in the open in 2014 to becoming open defecation free in 2019. The Prime Minister took a tour of the three distinct sections of the RSK. He first experienced a unique 360° audio visual immersive show in Hall 1 which provides an overview of the Swachh Bharat journey. He then moved to Hall 2 which contains a series of interactive LED panels, hologram boxes, interactive games and much more on the SBM. The Prime Minister also saw the installations in the lawn adjacent to RSK which showcase three exhibits which are synonymous with the SBM – Mahatma Gandhi leading people to the Swachhata pledge, Rani Mistris of rural Jharkhand and children swachhagrahis who call themselves Vaanar Sena.
Interaction with school students
After taking a tour of the entire RSK, the Prime Minister briefly visited the RSK souvenir centre. He then interacted with 36 school students from Delhi, representing all States and Union Territories of India at the amphitheatre of the RSK, adhering to social distancing protocols. The children shared with the Prime Minister their experiences with swachhata activities at home and at school, and their impressions of the RSK. One of them also asked the Prime Minister what his favourite part of the RSK was, to which the Prime Minister replied that he most enjoyed the portion dedicated to the inspiration of the SBM, Mahatma Gandhi.
Address to the nation
After interacting with the children, the Prime Minister addressed the nation. The Prime Minister reminisced the journey of the Swachh Bharat Mission and dedicated the RSK as a permanent tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. He lauded the people of India for making swachhata a jan andolan and urged them to continue to do so in the future. He reiterated the importance of swachhata in our daily lives, especially during our fight against the coronavirus.
And on this occasion, the Prime Minister launched ‘Gandagi Mukt Bharat’, a special week long campaign for swachhata in the run up to Independence Day, during which each day till 15th August will have special swachhata initiatives in urban and rural India to re-enforce the jan andolan for swachhata.
Visiting the Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra
The Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra will be open to the public from 9th August from 8 AM to 5 PM, in accordance with the prescribed guidelines for social distancing and hygiene. As the number of people who may visit the RSK at a given point in time will have to be limited, no tours will be organized for students in the short term. However, virtual tours of the RSK will also be organized till such time as physical tours are possible. The first such virtual tour will be organized on 13th August with Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. For ticket bookings and more information on the RSK, one may log on to rsk.ddws.gov.in