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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the belief on the need to convert "waste to wealth" was gaining momentum, and the Swachh Bharat Mission had provided opportunities for a large number of social entrepreneurs to devote themselves towards this purpose.

"Waste to wealth is a belief that is gaining momentum. Swachh Bharat Mission provides opportunities for a large number of social entrepreneurs that are being devoted towards this," he said in his addressed at the 90th year celebrations of the Essel Group.

The Prime Minister launched two social initiatives - Sarthi and DSC foundation - on the occasion.

Sarthi, a people's empowerment programme on subjects such as education, health and employment, and the DSC foundation with a corpus of Rs 5,000 crore, to empower people in need, are the initiatives of Essel Group Chairman Subhash Chandra.

Modi said that "while Sarthi presented a good blend of rights and duties, the DSC foundation would help build a large number of job creators".

"These initiatives reflect values their (Essel Group's) family believes," he said, adding that the occasion is obviously connected with the Essel Group but it is also connected with values associated with our land and that India had a tradition where successive generations take family values forward, and contribute to the family by adding their capacities and capabilities.

"We in our country attach immense importance to family values. The family is a very strong institution. I have known the family of Subhash Chandra for years. Their business group is active in so many sectors."

Recalling his earlier meetings with Nandkishore Goenka, father of Chandra, he said the family has always been open to new ideas, and has taken every challenge as an opportunity, to create a presence in a range of initiatives from "soil to satellite".

The event was also attended by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Welcoming the Prime Minister, the Essel Group Chairman thanked him for graciously accepting the invitation for this event and explained his group's recent social initiatives on themes such as water supply, power supply, Swachh Bharat and affordable housing.

Modi also expressed appreciation for the Essel Group's Ekal Vidyalayas (one teacher, one school) initiative.

"The manner in which his family has supported these schools is commendable. Today, around 42,000 units are being helped by the group. I hope that this movement will reach 1 lakh by 2022."

He also urged countrymen to work towards specific goals for what they could do for the country by 2022, the 75th anniversary of Independence.

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