- Kalbelia, a folk dancer who entertains tourists for a living, had vowed to cut half of his moustache if people in his village did not build toilets by the first anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- His pledge, in a land where a man’s moustache symbolises his honour, not only rallied 120 families to the cause but also catapulted him to the status of ‘champion ambassador’, one of two to be felicitated by the Modi government on completion of the first year of the cleanliness mission.
- The panchayat secretary Rashida Khan in Kesla village in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh extended her roza by a week so that she could celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr only after her village was open defecation-free.
- Kalbelia and Khan will be felicitated in the anniversary week as part of ‘open minds’, a new initiative by the ministry of drinking water and sanitation that seeks to move away from a celebrity-endorsed Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and identifies 100 achievers with innovative ideas who are making the cleanliness mission work on the ground.
- The Modi government has invited ed all these inspiring champions to Delhi for felicitation on October 7.