Wednesday, 26 November 2014

How relevant is Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in today’s time…?!!

On 15th august 2014, the Honarable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan with the aim to achieve a clean India by 2nd October 2019 which incidentally marks 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. I’m sure quite many of us heard his speech that day on television (or later on in the continuous loops on the news channels) but what I’m more certain of is, many of us also smirked after hearing him out and flipped through the channels on television. Because when it comes to the concept of clean India it is just impossible right?
We have discussed this topic endlessly with friends over coffee many a times at the canteen and share funny stories about how a friend once painted a wall yellow by urinating on it or how the now-famous aunty in the neighborhood throws garbage off her bungalow gate. As usual we talk, we laugh over it and say “India ka kuch nahi ho sakta !”. Everybody knows that what you personally do does make a huge difference and yet we cant even make sure that our fellow classmates don’t leave their half eaten wadapavs under the desk. So does that give you the right to comment on Modi’s vision.
Yes, this campaign may sound superfluous what with the shortage of public bins, shortage of staff for the public cleaning departments and not to forget the in tatters waste disposal system but the least we all can start with is throwing our chewed gums and empty wafers packets into the nearest dustbins and not “smartly” sticking the gums under the first furniture we come across.
We listen to our friends and relatives talking infinitely about the US trip that they recently took and how clean the streets are but during the same conversation they will never miss a chance of criticizing their own country. This they do while actually spitting their pan masala on the road with not a care who gets attractively painted by it. Have we as the citizens of India ever done our bit to keep our surroundings clean?
I would also like to share my personal experience regarding this.   While I was doing my MBBS, many of my classmates and friends would laugh at me when I would pick up their toffee wrappers and pocket them or keep them in my bag and I’m sure many of them would have thought that I was just acting overly smart. And yet quite a few out of them over the years have also got embarrassed when I gave them a look of deepest disgust and in the process have learnt to dispose their wrappers in the dustbin. I take pride to bring about that little change.
But what’s the point, right? You will read this article and still not give a thought to cleanliness because if one around us litters that gives us an automatic right to do the same. In fact that automatically gives you a moral right to stop the person. Remember, that would bring about a small change. And many small drops fills the whole ocean.
Mopping around in our own homes brings no shame then why feel embarrassed for volunteering for a day to clean the streets in your neighborhood? Try doing it or stop talking. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is neither a political revolution nor a strategy of Modi to earn personal gains. In fact he has not said anything new at all. Since childhood we all have been thought that Cleanliness is Next to Godliness but somewhere along the path of growing up physically we have forgotten that lesson. The government will do its part for this campaign but its success will majorly depend on how inspired the masses are to bring about this change.
A classic example is a group called “ The Ugly Indian” in Bangalore, who are normal people like us and have jobs to work at 6 days a week but what is interesting is their philosophy of “Kaam chalu mooh bandh” or “ Stop talking, Start doing” which managed to clean many public places and the cleanliness was maintained because it inspired the others who would pass those filthy areas earlier but never care.
The relevance of this campaign in today’s time is dependent on us, the people, how we play our role and commit to the duty being an Indian citizen. Each one of us is a well educated individual and its not much if we are expected to keep our surroundings clean or educate others about cleanliness as a small token of gratitude to our country for the rights it has provided to us.
Lastly I would like to requote Shri Narendra Modi

“If a country when united for a cause can non violently defeat one of the most powerful imperial empires in the history of mankind...
Then there is no reason to believe that they cant keep their nation clean”

Dr Priyanka Pawar
MBA HHM Batch 14-16