India proud of citizens like Chandrakant Kulkarni: PM

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Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses at the inauguration of Swachh Bharat Diwas in Ahmedabad on Oct 2, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Ahmedabad:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday praised retired employee Chandrakant Kulkarni, who donated almost a third of his pension towards “Swachh Bharat Mission”, saying India is proud of citizens like him.

“India is proud of citizens like Chandrakant Kulkarni. This pensioner donated a substantial amount of money from his pension for the Swachh Bharat Mission,” Modi said in his address at the Sabarmati riverfront here at an event to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.

Kulkarni was also present on the occasion.

The Prime Minister even referred to him during his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

Kulkarni, who retired in 2007 from St Joseph Boys School in Pune’s Khadki, had on June 25, 2016, had presented 52 post-dated cheques of Rs 5,000 each, totalling Rs 2.6 lakh for Swachh Bharat Kosh (Clean India Corpus) to the Prime Minister while meeting him in Pune.

Getting a monthly pension of Rs 16,000, he donated nearly a third of it from June 2015 to September 2019 to Swachh Bharat Kosh, which the government created to facilitate contributions by individuals and companies towards the campaign.

He decided to make his contribution after he heard Modi’s August 15, 2015 speech where the Prime Minister said 77 per cent of the population in Uttar Pradesh had no access to toilets.

The National Democratic Alliance government had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on October 2, 2014, aiming to make India open-defecation free (ODF) by October 2, 2019. The mission planned to build more than 10 million individual toilets by October 2, 2019, and half a million community and public toilets.