Mahatma Gandhi once stated that "Sanitation
is more important than Independence". He
very well understood that sanitation and
cleanliness are integral parts of healthy and
peaceful lives. It is for this reason Mahatma
Gandhi (Bapuji) encouraged his fellow citizen to
always live a clean and hygienic life. However,
after the sad demise of Bapuji, this objective
was lost and the Indians continued to lead an
unhygienic and dirty lifestyle. Mahatma Gandhi's
cleanliness drive was once again revived by our
Honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on 2nd
of October in 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi, under
the name 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'.
About the abhiyan
Also referred to as Swachh Bharat Campaign or Clean India drive or Clean India Mission, this Swachh Abhiyan was inaugurated on the 145th birth anniversary of the Mahatma Gandhi. Clean India drive is a national level campaign that is aimed at making India a clean and green country by the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019. The target of this abhiyan is to:
# stamp out open defecation system;
# eliminate manual scavenging;
# convert insanitary toilets into clean flush toilets;
# strengthen the sanitation system in rural and urban areas;
# complete disposal and reuse of liquid and solid wastes;
# motivate and spread cleanliness awareness among people
# and create user friendly environment for all private enterprises interested in investing in India for maintenance of cleanliness. The cost of this entire campaign is estimated to be quite high.
(Rs 1,828 crore on public awareness; Rs 7,366 crore on solid waste management; Rs 4,165 crore on individual household toilets; and Rs 655 crore on community toilets, etc.)
The great thing about Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is that while launching this cleanliness drive, the Prime Minister himself had cleaned the road to set an example to the people of India. He appointed nine renowned personalities from India to initiate the campaign in their own respective areas and on their own convenient dates. These nominated individuals included eminent personalities like Sachin Tendulkar (cricket), Baba Ramdev (yoga) and the team of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah (a popular Indian TV series). The chain of these nine people is similar to a branching of the tree. The Prime Minister also nominated other politicians, sportspersons and artists to promote and endorse the Swachh Bharat Campaign in various fields.
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is believed to be the biggest ever cleanliness drive in India. The Prime Minister requested all the people to involve themselves in this event by uploading images or video of cleanliness on various social media platforms via the internet. This would motivate others to work together in making India a clean country. Around 3 million government employees along with the teachers and students of different schools and colleges across the country have voluntarily joined this "Clean India Campaign".
Need for swachh abhiyan
As estimated the completion of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan would indirectly attract many business houses to clean India. This in turn will improve the GDP growth and generate variety of sources of employment. The swachh abhiyan can play a great role in reducing death rate, health expenses and lethal disease rate. Clean India would draw more tourists and improve its economical condition. It is for this reason the Prime Minister has urged every Indian to devote their 100 hours every year for the cleanliness of India. This is sufficient to make this country a clean country by 2019.
Several awareness programmes, such as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, Total Sanitation Campaign, etc. were launched by the government for personal cleanliness and environmental sanitation. However, due to the half-hearted cooperation of the citizens of India, all these drives failed to make a strong impact. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan can only be completely successful, if each and every Indian takes up this campaign as his/her own responsibility and join hands together to make it a triumphant mission. After all cleanliness is next to godliness!