India’s Independence Day was celebrated here on Tuesday, with residents underlining that the Taj Mahal town needed freedom from garbage and filth.

A number of flag hoisting functions were held in schools in Agra where eminent speakers focused on dirt, garbage, filth and degradation of environment and called for a concerted fight against pollution.

Gajendra Parmar and Mukesh Yadav, an ex-corporator, told a function at Shantanu Anglo-Vedic Inter College that society can no longer neglect the issue of general cleanliness.

“Children have to be taught from a very early age the need to keep our surroundings healthy and clean,” he said.

Social activist Shravan Kumar Singh, speaking at a function held on the Yamuna bank, called for zero tolerance vis-a-vis dirt, “both mental and physical”.

Flag hoisting ceremonies were also held at the Collectorate, Civil Court and the Divisional Commissioner’s office.

Catholic educational institutions organised colourful parades and cultural functions. Private schools distributed sweets and balloons of various colours.