The campaign, which aims to take Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cleanliness initiative 'Swachh Bharat Mission' to a higher trajectory, was launched from Ishwari Ganj village near here.
The President also made people take a pledge whereby they resolved to create a clean, healthy and new India.
"Today, we are fighting a different battle - battle against uncleanliness," he said.
Addressing the gathering, the President said that India is fighting a decisive battle for cleanliness and hygiene.
President Kovind also urged the people to take up responsibility for the cleanliness of their surroundings.
"Cleanliness is not the responsibility of only sanitation personnel and government departments; it is a multi-stakeholder national movement. Together we should make the effort to clean our houses, public places, villages and cities," he said.
He also said that the aim is all-round cleanliness and hygiene everywhere, with implications for health and sanitation and overall prosperity of the people.
"We should make united efforts for cleanliness. It is not only the responsibility of the sanitation staff but all of us. Ensuring cleanliness will be the true tribute to Mahatma Gandhi," he said, adding diseases, including mental illness, can happen due to unclean atmosphere.
The President also lauded the efforts made by the people of Ishwariganj in helping with the imitative.
"The responsibility shown by people of Ishwariganj village to make their village open defecation free is laudable. I hope others will take a cue from this village," he said.
He also had a word of praise for those women who refused to marry into homes without any toilets.
Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Ram Naik; Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath; Sushri Uma Bharati, Union Minister of Drinking Water & Sanitation, and Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, Lok Sabha MP from Kanpur. (ANI)