In his message to the nation ahead of Gandhi Jayanti, Mukherjee said: "I call upon every Indian to do his utmost to make a success of the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' launched by the government to ensure hygiene, waste management and sanitation across the country."

"I also call upon everyone concerned to work hard to achieve the goal of toilets in every home by 2019 - the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhiji's birth," he added.

"Gandhiji believed that cleanliness is next only to godliness. Let us pledge this day to convert cleanliness into a national passion. Every road, every path, every office, every home, every hut, every stream and every particle in the air around us can and must be kept clean," he added.

Urging people to "re-dedicate" themselves to Gandhi's ideals of truth, non-violence and all-round development, the President said Gandhi's leadership had inspired millions to unite in the cause of freedom and independence.

"He also taught us to stand resolutely against fear, to understand the importance of truth and to work for the betterment of our motherland," Mukherjee said.

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