“If people of India can reach Mars with minimal expenditure, why can they not keep their streets and colonies clean.” – Narendra Modi
Indians gained freedom under the leadership of Gandhiji, but his dream of a clean India is still unfulfilled. Mahatma Gandhi said “Sanitation is more important than independence”. He made cleanliness and sanitation an integral part of the Gandhian way of living. His dream was total sanitation for all. Cleanliness is most important for physical well-being and a healthy environment. It has bearing on public and personal hygiene. It is essential for everyone to learn about cleanliness, hygiene, sanitation and the various diseases that are caused due to poor hygienic conditions.
According to the World Health Organization, an average of Rs. 6500 per person was lost in India due to lack of cleanliness and hygiene. Swachh Bharat would make a significant impact on public health and in safeguarding income of the poor, ultimately contributing to the national economy.”
On 2nd October, 2014, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, launched a nation-wide cleanliness campaign on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. The concept of Swachh Bharat is to provide sanitation facilities to every family, including toilets, solid and liquid waste disposal systems, village cleanliness, and safe and adequate drinking water supply. We have to achieve this by 2019 as a befitting tribute to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, on his 150th birth anniversary.
Modi said that the Swachh Bharat mission is beyond politics, inspired by patriotism and not politics. He also asked people to pledge ‘na main gandagi karoonga, na main gandagi karne doonga‘ (I shall not litter and won’t allow anyone to do so).
Since then, we have been witnessing the boom of the Clean India Mission all over the country; looping in people across geographies, professions, caste & religion. It has prompted thousands of Indians to pick up the broom to create more engagement towards a vision of Swachh India.
If you think only educated or urban Indians are doing their bit, then the stories of these villages will prove you wrong. What’s more, they will also inspire you to make efforts towards a vision of us all.
Haryana’s Oontkar village now lets its women do most of the talking!
In an effort to ensure their surroundings are clean, the women of this village conduct regular gatherings where cleanliness is discussed at length. They believe that their children are the future of the village and that, as mothers, it’s important for them to set an example. They’ve composed a song titled ‘Mere ghar mein sauchalya banao piya jee’ (Please build a toilet in my house, my beloved).
Inspired by the Swachh Bharat mission, the people of Gondwal in Ludhiana have been working hard to ensure that India achieves a clean image by 2019. To keep their village beautiful and green, the residents of Gondwal collect all their garbage in one place for decomposition.
The people of this remote village in Puranya taluka faced a massive scarcity of clean water. But Modi’s Swachh Bharat mission has encouraged them to battle all odds. The result: A 35,000 litre water tank and several water pipelines have been installed in the village. Thanks to the abundance of water, the village now boasts of clean surroundings.