Bengaluru, Sep 15: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday showered encomiums on Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for coming up with innovative solutions for problems, including that of waste. He was interacting with the spiritual guru via video-conferencing after the launch of the "Swachhata Hi Seva" campaign.
"You not only solve problems but do it in a very innovative way with the help of new technologies and viewpoint," Modi said. "Your concern for cleanliness is commendable and your efforts to make your volunteers work in this direction gives strength to (the country) carry this big movement forward," he added.
Modi said Ravi Shankar and his AOL volunteers have always been at the forefront in doing good to the society and the country. The AOL founder told Modi that nine waste management machines, which turn temple waste into manure, had been installed at shrines across the country.
"Because of your (Modi) words and inspiration, one of our volunteers has created a machine which manages waste and converts it into manure. That machine has been installed at nine places of worship including Vishwanath temple in Varanasi and Ajmer Sharif Dargah," Ravi Shankar said.
Noting that cities were dirtier than tribal villages, he said his volunteers had so far conducted 90,560 camps to spread awareness about cleanliness and they had yielded good results.
"With the growth of facilities in cities, waste has also increased because of the use of plastic. Comparatively, tribal villages are cleaner. It is a really striking difference," he said.
The spiritual leader also stressed on the need to go back to old ways of drinking in clay cups and eating food on plantain leaves, which can be recycled and reused.
"We can also use plastic made of cornstarch. It is in use in Gujarat. It dissolves in 90 days," Ravi Shankar suggested. He said people's aggressive and depressive tendencies are responsible for the lack of cleanliness.
"Spiritual gurus always make efforts to make people rise above insensitivity towards uncleanliness, but if a prime minister makes such efforts, it has a deep impact on people's psyche," he said. "To keep public places clean, people should have a sense of belonging, then alone cleanliness can be achieved," he said.