‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ or ‘Clean India Campaign’ is an expedition started by our PM Narendra Modi to fulfill one of the biggest dreams of Mahatma Gandhi a.k.a. “Bapu”, which sadly is unfulfilled even after 68 years of Independence. The mission starts with great intentions of presenting Clean India on 2-October-2019, 150th Birth Anniversary of Gandhiji. It states that cleanliness should begin from each home and individual and that everyone should take it as their bounden duty to keep the surroundings clean.
I remember when I was in school; we did not have holidays on Gandhi Jayanti. Instead we used to go to our schools for a cleanliness drive wherein we were given a charge of cleaning our classrooms. With this mission, the act of cleanliness goes beyond just one day volunteering. There is no lack of vigor or initiatives taken by government at this point of time. The mission is built on a realization that cleaning is not just a responsibility of sweepers but it is something which should be done by each and every one of us, not just at our homes but for our Mother land as well.
Some of the most impressive and innovative steps taken to fulfill the mission which makes this campaign a lot more different than any other are –
1. Modi asked people to take pictures of areas where they saw garbage, then clean the area and take pictures of the clean area. He asked people to upload these images on social media using MyGov, a mobile application. – Modi has very well tapped the popularity of Social Media. Uploading pictures and updates is trending these days. Social media has gained its popularity in almost all the sectors, be it politics, news, entertainment, networking or even corporate. It has become an inseparable part of peoples’ life today and is now a very effective tool to drive an opinion and influence people. Then why not use it as medium to spread awareness, encourage people and set examples, people like you and me actively contributing to the cause.
2. NaMo has lived up to his image of connecting with the people just the right way. He has started his clean India movement on lines similar to the famous ‘ALS Ice Bucket challenge’. He has invited nine people to post pictures of them cleaning and they will invite another nine people. The people he has nominated include Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Salman Khan, Yoga guru Ramdev baba and a team of Tarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashmah. He has very wisely picked up people from all walks of life. In fact he is the only leader in the nation to ever adopt such a strategy to support a social cause.
3. ‘Na main gandagi karoonga,na main gandagi karne doonga‘ (I will not litter and will not allow anyone to do so) A pledge taken to embark a journey towards a cleaner nation. It is for the first time that all employees from the level of peons to Secretary were called to the office on ‘Gandhi Jayanti’, which is otherwise a government-declared holiday, to be part of the ‘Clean India’ campaign and to collectively take a pledge.
It is to be noted that participation just from the government is not enough, the mission can be fulfilled only when each one us unite, support and work towards the common goal. Very well said, if you see something wrong happening but prefer to just ignore and walk over, you are no good either. We often see people spitting on the road but how many of us actually go and stop them? Handful of us! Your responsibility does not end with taking care on just your behalf; it is your country, take ownership of it.
4. Constructing proper washrooms in rural areas.It is surprising that basic necessity such as proper sanitation is still not available in many parts of the country. According to World Bank, India’s shortage of toilets costs the country more han $50 billion a year, mostly through premature deaths and hygiene-related diseases.
Moreover it stands as one of the key reasons for the girls in rural areas to not go to schools. Also it should be noted that there is connection between rapes and absence of toilet. A recent incident which took place on 27 May, 2014 when two teenage girls were gang-raped and murdered in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, sets as a strong example of this. The girls had gone out into a field that was used as a toilet area but never returned. Had there been proper sanitation facilities made in the village a situation like this would have never occurred.
5. Modi asked every Indian to devote about 100 hours a year, or two hours a week, to cleaning public places of litter. This is what each one of us can easily contribute. 2 hours a week is not a very difficult task for anybody. Contact government organization of your area or any NGO. If one wishes to take a step forward he will find many ways to contribute.
Modi very right pointed out – Clean India is responsibility of all 1.25 billion Indians. We have spent a lot of time criticizing the government for their inability and ineffectiveness. Now that finally times are changing, let us do our bit and contribute to cleaner nation. As said by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth “For a campaign of this nature to be successful, there is a need to create massive public awareness and to ensure participation and action for cleaning homes, government offices, schools, hospitals, work places, streets, roads and markets, railway stations and bus terminals, statues, monuments, rivers, lakes, ponds, parks and other public places.” There is a lot of dirt and filth in our nation, something which is not hidden in global arena as well. Advantages of Clean India are not just restricted to health and hygiene benefits but also infrastructure up gradation, investors’ confidence and image building of our nation. Small initiatives at a personal level will go a long way, benefiting micro as well as macro aspects. So let us all unite and contribute towards the cause, for our Motherland, for fulfilling Bapu’s dream, for CLEAN INDIA.