After Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat or Clean India Mission on Oct. 2, the Centre will initiate the Bal Swachhta Mission on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, which is celebrated as Children's Day.
    
Government sources said that the decision to launch 'Bal Swachhta Mission' was taken at "the highest level" to "sensitise and involve" children in the different aspects of hygiene and sanitation.
    
"Children can play a very important role in achieving Swachh Bharat by 2019," said a top official in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
    
"If children can be motivated to keep themselves clean and their homes, schools and surroundings clean... they can not only contribute immensely towards improving sanitation in the country but also become ambassadors of cleanliness in their homes and communities," the official said.
    
"In this context, it has been decided to launch a Bal Swachchta Mission on November 14 on the occasion of Chidren's Day, in which children would be sensitised and involved in different aspects of hygiene and safe sanitation," the official added.
    
A directive in this regard has been issued to the states and Union territories.
    
The Centre has suggested six main themes -- clean schools and anganwadis, clean surroundings, clean self (personal hygiene/child health), clean food, clean drinking water and clean toilets -- and states have been asked to focus on one of these on each day of the week, beginning November 14 and concluding on November 19, which is the birth anniversary of
Indira Gandhi.
    
"The week will culminate with World Toilet Day on November 19, thus giving an opportunity for spreading the message of ending open defecation," says the central directive.
    
A pledge to be taken on the occasion by the children of the country is being prepared and will be circulated to the states shortly.
    
Modi had announced that the government would run a cleanliness campaign in every school from November 14 to 19.

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