Friday, 3 October 2014

Swachata Abhiyan: The ideal way forward!

"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen."- Michael Jordan.

After many years, today I feel very contented. This morning when I woke up and was getting through my daily chores, I heard slogans by nearby school children in my residential area, "Thoda toh haath badhao, Bharat ko Swachch banao" which in English means 'Do your bit to make India clean'.


Cleanliness drive by students via avenuemail.in
Cleanliness drive by students via avenuemail.in

It was indeed heartening to see those young children imbibing the values of a clean India. Fortunately, our PM Narendra Modi has the vision of a clean India and has stressed it as the way forward. During his speech in USA, he said that he was asked by others to have a vision and he translated the Vision into a clean India vision. As rightly pointed out by PM Modi, every family shall be saving Rs. 6000-7000 a month by saving on on medical expenses due to lack of unhygienic conditions and since bread-earners will not fall sick as frequently due to clean environment, he/she will be able to avoid absenteeism from workplace and earn more. This shall be beneficial to the nation, as it will increase the productivity of the entire nation.  The cleanliness drive around religious places shall increase the number of religious tourists and will provide employment opportunities.


Union Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad during Cleanliness drive


Ok so here is an exercise for you, take 2 minutes to think of 10 countries that might be the cleanest in the world. When I did the exercise, I could only think of countries such as Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland etc. Were you able to think of any Asian or African country in the 10 cleanest countries list?

In a study done by Forbes.com in 2010 to rank the World's 10 Cleanest countries, one would expect the list to be full of European countries. However, to my surprise, there were 3 countries in the list that were of smaller size and having lower GDP than India.

Costa Rica: That such a relatively poor and developing country ranks third in the EPI is testament to the natural endowments of Costa Rica, with dense forests, plentiful water and abundant wildlife.
Costa Rica- Forbes 10 cleanest country
Costa Rica- Forbes 10 cleanest country

Mauritius: A tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean to the east of Madagascar, Mauritius is far and away the highest-ranking nation of Sub-Saharan Africa!


Mauritius- Forbes 10 cleanest country
Mauritius- Forbes 10 cleanest country

Cuba: Researchers doubt the veracity of Cuba’s data, which shows higher levels of public health, (including almost universal access to sanitation and clean water) than GDP would suggest.


Cuba- Forbes 10 cleanest country
Cuba- Forbes 10 cleanest country

In my opinion, the above mentioned countries have earned their place in the ranking by making optimum use of the available resources. But do you think that India cannot achieve the same? Is India not endowed with dense forests, water, abundant wildlife? Instead, I feel that rich cultural heritage of India is an add-on.


Mt. Everest
Mt. Everest


Sunset at Radhanagar beach
Sunset at Radhanagar beach


Varanasi ganga
Varanasi ganga


In my opinion, it is just a matter of mindset and a spark that shall pave the way for a Clean India. The spark has been provided by the Prime Minister, now it is up to us to follow suit and make India more live-able and more like-able.


Let us take the<strong> Swachata pledge: </strong>


Take the pledge
Take the pledge


1. I shall not spit in public and discourage others from doing so.
2. I shall not litter in public and discourage others from doing so.
3. I shall not urinate in open areas and discourage others from doing so.
4. I shall not encroach area.
5. I shall not write anything on monuments of historic significance and discourage others from doing so.

If each of us follow the pledge, we shall serve ourselves and the community.
Most importantly, we will be able to sleep satisfactorily.