The Sparkling Fraternity
The fourth edition of the India Today Safaigiri Summit and Awards in Mumbai on October 2 stressed on the importance of public participation in keeping the country clean. The day-long event saw brilliant performances by a range of singers, from icons like Sonu Nigam and Abhijeet to the seasoned Abhijeet Sawant and newbies like Meghana Sharma and Shahid Mallya.
Actors Radhika Apte and Ayushmann Khurrana admitted that the cleanliness mantra is no longer to be scoffed at. Apte narrated an experience how she as a school student had washed the toilets for two weeks as part of a school project. Actors Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra insisted that illiteracy and unsafe environments for women must be flushed out from India.
Calling himself a baagi (rebel),
Abhijeet alleged that the Indian film industry was full of hypocrites. He claimed that real talent was being eclipsed, pointing to how actor Shah Rukh Khan’s career started going south after he stopped lending his voice to him.
Union minister for transport and highways Nitin Gadkari presented awards to 15 organisations and individuals for their contributions to make India garbage-free and clean. In his address, Gadkari emphasised that India should explore all opportunities to convert its waste to wealth. Any costeffective, pollution-free and indigenous technology would help reduce its expenditure on imports, he added.
Gadkari pointed to how the Nagpur municipal corporation was earning annual royalties of Rs 79 crore by selling its sewage water to a Maharashtra power company. He reiterated that the Ganga river will be cleaned as per schedule. “We have appointed contractors and
have tasked them to operate and maintain 250 projects for 15 years,” he said.
In his welcome address, Aroon Purie, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of India Today Group, explained his vision for a clean India. “I don’t know about an Indian on the moon, but I will be delighted when every Indian who has to defecate in the open finds a toilet of her own. With adequate water and sewerage, of course.”
BRIGHT START Union minister Nitin Gadkari and India Today Chairman Aroon Purie with the award winners