Former Deputy Speaker Mandali Buddha Prasad has termed the Swachh Bharat movement a tribute both to Mahatma Gandhi as well as to the spirit of social service in the Diviseema region of Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Buddha Prasad was addressing a gathering at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University on the sidelines of a three-day conference titled The Uplift: Gandhi, King, and the Global Struggle for Freedom and Justice. The conference, being conducted to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, began on Friday and will end on Sunday.
In his address, titled Gandhi Beyond the Spinning Wheel: The Applied Version - Indias Regional Experience, Mr. Buddha Prasad said, The Swachh Bharat mission focuses on community participation in cleanliness drives with an indomitable social spirit and Gandhian principles of village development.
Martin Luther King, Jr and Mahatma Gandhi have mastered the methods of community mobilisation, said Mr. Buddha Prasad.
He recalled how Gandhian activists in Krishna district had played a pivotal role in extricating corpses in the aftermath of the 1977 super cyclone that killed over 10,000 people.
In the inaugural session, Mr. Buddha Prasad participated in group discussions which centred around the relevance of Gandhis policy of non-violence in todays age of nuclear brinkmanship. Later, Mr. Buddha Prasad presented a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King III, Anthony Chavez and Juanita Chavez (grandson of Cesar Chavez and daughter of Dolores Huerta respectively) during the conference.