Swachh Bharat (Clean India)

08 Aug 2014

It is heartening to see 33,000 plus people join the group 'Clean India' created on the My Gov site MyGov.in. The pragmatic suggestions of the group members ensure that the vision of Hon'able Prime Minister to create a 'Swachh Bharat' by the time India marks the 150th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi will be a reality.

The fast growing group in terms of members has come up with numerous ways to make India Clean. The group while hosting discussion on the following topic should issues of urban and rural cleanliness be tackled differently and can a single approach provide solutions to all problems related to cleanliness, suggests below mentioned worth implementing points:

  1. City to be planned with dust bins placed at good intervals. Have enough paid toilets and washrooms.
  2. Fine people who are caught littering and send repeat offenders to work at a social centre to give their free services.
  3. Reward those who keep their surroundings clean including industrial houses.
  4. Most waste found in rural area is biodegradable. This should be used to make compost. Urban areas should segregate dry and wet waste.
  5. Use celebrities and TV ads to educate people about cleanliness and encourage them to keep their surroundings clean.

To avoid manual scavenging the suggestions received were to pass a law. Also municipal corporations who practise it should be made aware of alternatives and fined heavily if found breaking the rule. The other suggestion was to go for competition for a green toilet. Many members suggested that many a times municipal corporations have machines to clean but they lie in neglect and manual scavenging continues. This as per the members should be stopped as soon as possible. Members also suggested construction of bio-toilets in rails and creating community toilets in villages. However, most suggested that the evil practice of manual scavenging can be only stopped by educating and inspiring people.

The suggestions received for how to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary with special focus on cleanliness received numerous comments like:

  1. Create city / district level waste recycling plants with incentives for providers and users.
  2. Use of incineration: A great way to convert waste to energy, reduces the junk volume of the waste and makes the environment clean.
  3. Ban organic waste going to landfills.
  4. Make commercial units including hospitals and hotels to create an exclusive system by themselves to hand over their waste directly to solid waste management units.
  5. Install more dust bin for non-bio degradable waste only. Make compulsory to hand over bio degradable waste to the collection agents only and ban public littering.
  6. Bring the latest technology in solid waste management. Involve school children and NGOs for awareness campaign.

The interesting tasks assigned to the members has received wonderful response from the members. The tasks assigned are:

  1. Identity 10 global best practices used by countries which have made a big difference in the lives of their citizens.
  2. Visit a mid-day meal kitchen and assess the cleanliness standards. Present a report on the scope of improvement on cleanliness there.
  3. Organise a cleanliness drive in your colony or locality.
  4. Share photographs of a particular area or locality, stressing on how they were before and how they are at present in terms of cleanliness.
  5. Identify 50 cities and 150 towns that can be used for pilot testing of solid waste management and waste water treatment initiatives and suggest ideas on how these initiatives cab be actuated on the ground.
  6. Suggest a PPP model that can be adopted to make our cities garbage free.
  7. Suggest a policy roadmap to construct and maintain proper toilet facilities in cities and villages for the poor.

The most happening section of the group is where the members put their comments after visiting schools and presented their reports on the hygiene standards maintained there for mid-day meals. Have a look at what two members experienced when they visited government schools:

  1. Visited one of the Government school in Baraut, Handia, Allahabad. When I entered in Kitchen of that school, I was totally shocked. Its condition was very poor. Even the women who works there, don't wash the utensils properly. I don't know how those student eat it? Its condition seems to be like a kitchen for dogs or some unhygienic animals. And the in charge of the Kitchen was Pradhan of that village. Now I can only pray for those small kids. May God bless them.
  2. I visited a mid-day meal kitchen in Virugambakkam Chennai. Very good standard are being maintained. Cleanliness is highly appreciable. Items are provided at low costs. Steam cooking is done here. Food items are good here. Purified drinking water is provided. I suggest this scheme can be made all over India.

You can join this Group, if you are signed in!!