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Japanese nationals join Delhi cleanliness drive

NEW DELHI: Commending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Clean India campaign, Japanese nationals Thursday participated in a cleanliness drive in Delhi.

The initiative under “Come Clean India” is aimed at encouraging employees of every Japanese company in India to participate in the drive. It was organised by think tank and research centre Image India.

“We are inspired by Modi’s initiative to make India filth free. I have come all the way from Tokyo to participate and be a part of it and encourage citizens of my country living here,” said Mitsuru Nagamori, a senior manager with a life insurance company in Tokyo, during the drive at New Delhi railway station premises.

The Japanese nationals were also joined by hundreds of Indian school and college students.

Hiroyuki Hayashi, another Japanese professional, said the initiative was a perfect step to strengthen India-Japan relations.

“If Modi’s Clean India campaign is put into practice for the next five years and the work is carried on in the same way, I am sure India will become clean like Japan,” he told IANS.

The initiative was also supported by the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in India and the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of India.

According to Image India, the initiative was taken in the month of January to commemorate 100 years of the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India, and to celebrate his values of cleanliness.

“Since the last month, we have a team of Japanese managers, who came especially to Delhi from Tokyo to help us in the initiative and enhancing the mission of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ among all the Japanese companies in India,” said Robinder Sachdev, president, Imag e India.

“We have been working to clean India for the last four years in various cities, including Kochi, Guwahati and Dehradun,” Sachdev told IANS.

Later, at a seminar “Leadership, CSR and Swachha Bharat”, he proposed a model to collect one million hours of volunteering time in response to Modi’s call for 100 hours of volunteerism as part of the Clean India mission as well as ways for private businesses to organise these hours as part of their corporate social responsibility.

“We will approach corporate houses with a model that if you have 1,000 employees, instead of each of them working randomly on whatever they want, why don’t we collect all 100 hours from each of them and reach the target of one million hours,” Sachdev said.

The seminar was also attended by Indian army’s former military secretary Lt.Gen. S.A. Hasnain (retd.), Seema Srivastava from the UNDP, and Sachiko Imoto of Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Sachdev said the momentum f or Swacch Bharat must continue through community-oriented cleaning activities that would generate awareness about the mision.

“The PM had gone to Japan and called on the Japanese for cooperation. We took this opportunity to invite some senior managers form Japan to come and work with us for a month and reach out to the Japanese communities in India… get them to particpate in a sense to provide solidarity to the mission,” he said.

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