IMPHAL, October 2, 2017 (DIPR): As in other parts of the country, the State government also observed Gandhi Jayanti- the International Day of Non-Violence and National Cleanliness Day today at the Gandhi Memorial Hall, Imphal.

The State function was graced by Hon’ble Governor of Manipur, Dr. Najma A. Heptulla along with Chief Minister Shri Nongthombam Biren Singh, other cabinet ministers and Chief Secretary. The event is celebrated in commemoration of the 148th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation.

Addressing the function, Dr. Heptulla said that the state of cleanliness which is maintained during the observance of the national cleanliness day should be made a regular feature – a way of life. It should not be just a normal observance but a wake – up call for all to maintain high standards of cleanliness in our homes, workplace, roads, streets and public place.

She further said that Mahatma Gandhi – the great soul has always emphasized on cleanliness for a healthy living. Healthy people make a healthy nation. The Mahatma believed in the spiritual purification of body, mind and soul, she observed.

She elaborated that a clean environment is essential for good health which will beget a pure mind. The “Swachh Bharat” initiative taken up by the Central Government is aimed towards this end of keeping the environment clean. All should endeavour to make it a preserving campaign for a good health and mind, she added.

She pointed out that the Swachhta Hi Seva, ‘Cleanliness is Service’, a campaign which  started on 15th September ,2017, concluded today on Gandhi Jayanti. The campaign is an initiative of  Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi .

In his address, Chief Minister Shri Nongthombam Biren Singh said that people should not only focus on cleaning their surroundings, but also aim to free their minds of negativity, hatred, enmity, communalism and corrupt thoughts.

He urged the people to maintain harmony , solidarity and peaceful co-existence amongst each other. He also said, “Good thoughts will pave the way to a better society and lead to progress and development of the nation.”

The Chief Minister explained that the fortnight long Swachta Hi Seva campaign is a way of realising Gandhiji’s vision for a Clean India.

The Chief Minister also said that the Imphal Evenings which will be launched this evening aims to bring some entertainment avenues for the people. Explaining that the Imphal Evenings is an initiative to provide family- oriented evening life to the public, he sought support and cooperation from the public for the successful implementation of the initiatives and programs of the new government.

On the present United Naga Council issue, the Chief Minister said the government has already held talks with the organisation and further reaffirmed that the government is committed to finding solutions to all issues through talks.

Asserting that several welfare schemes for the people are in the pipeline, Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren also said that his government is mulling to introduce an Old-age Pension Scheme through which beneficiaries will be provided Rs 1500/- per month and a Skill Development Training Course for the differently abled.

Chief Minister Biren also asserted that since his government was formed, several potholes had been mended and repaired however, incessant rain over the past few months has resulted in the washing away of the repaired roads.

As part of the function, the Governor led others in offering floral tribute to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Artistes of Shri Shri Bal Mukunda Dev Government Music College also presented an opening song at the start of the function. Other high ranking officials also attended the function.

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