The Swachh Bharat Mission launched on 2nd October, 2014, by the visionary present Prime Minister reverend Narendra Modi, has turned into a mass movement today. On that day, the scene of such unique cleanliness in public places, government and non-government offices and other places will probably be seen for the first time after independence. The enthusiasm that the countrymen are showing for active participation in this campaign gives hope that after 70 years of independence, cleanliness will no longer be a neglected issue.
Swachh Bharat Mission – A Mass Movement
The organized efforts that were needed to make the society aware of cleanliness never started honestly by the previous rulers. In fact, Indian people do not feel the need to make sincere efforts to solve the problem till it takes a gigantic form and if people get excited and start the effort anyhow, and then their enthusiasm cools down in a few days.
But this time the Prime Minister wants that on the above said day they focus solely on cleanliness in the offices, then it is undoubtedly a welcome initiative and the government is determined to make it a continuous process, so that soon it will bring pleasant results. The countrymen have also heartily welcomed the appeal of the Prime Minister and now understanding the value of cleanliness; everyone has participated and contributed their time to make this mission a success.
On 2nd October 2019, on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, declaring the entire country free from open defecation, we have paid a real tribute to the father of the nation. This mission has not only erased the blot of a polluted country but also saved the lives of the natives from various kinds of diseases. In UNO, the efforts of our countrymen have also been appreciated by all the members those have given a chance to all the countrymen to raise their head in pride.
Need to make Swachh Bharat Mission a Mass Movement
The earlier rulers of the country had not shown their intention on the cleanliness of the country after independence. The illiteracy was the main reason behind it. The people did not know about the importance of cleanliness. They were living in poor hygienic condition and had littered all the places with garbage. They did not know the harmful consequences of littering the ground and water bodies due to their ignorance. In rural areas people go for defecation in open that in return gave them many kinds of fatal diseases.
With development process plastics has become a part of life because it is cheap and easy to handle. People did not know the harmful effect of plastic and threw it hither and thither in an unjust way. Plastic is non-biodegradable and leaves its toxic effect on the life of flora and fauna and on the environment, so it did. It has become a big problem of its disposal. It littered not only the ground but also polluted the water bodies. The plastic materials can be seen into drains, choking the flow of water that comes on the streets and roads. The filth left on roads omits foul smell and many kinds of germs, viruses and vectors emerged from it and spread fatal diseases and epidemics.
Hence there was a need to make the people aware about the harms of the pollution and degradation of the environment. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is not only the responsibility of the government but also needs the contribution of the people. It is a continuous and comprehensive process in which the equal participation of both is needed.
The Appeal of the Prime Minister and the People
This time it should be expected that the enthusiasm of the government and the public towards clean India will not only remain for a fortnight but it will remain for the entire five years. Looking on the working style of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it was being expected that the government will be successful in achieving the target set by 2019 to reach this campaign. As Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has expressed his resolve to give importance to cleanliness in his first Independence Day address from the ramparts of Red Fort; he has displayed a commitment to create a mass movement to embody it, which is undoubtedly welcomed by the people.
This time on October 2nd, the entire nation has taken a pledge to pay tribute to the Father of Nation in true sense by participating in the Cleanliness Campaign. The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development has decided to spend two lakh crore rupees on this mission in the next five years.
Changing Trend in the Government and the People
One of the consequences of the way the ideals of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, are being forgotten in our society is that the national event on his auspicious date is gradually taking the form of mere ritual. It is only that no purpose can be achieved by those events which are done only for paying tribute to him with a great pomp and show. Actually, the organized efforts needed to make the society aware of cleanliness never started with honesty.
Perhaps this will be the first time when the government is expected to make a mandatory presence in the offices on 2nd October. The Prime Minister wants that on this day people focus solely on cleanliness in the offices, houses and surroundings, public places etc. then it is undoubtedly a welcome initiative and the government is determined to make it a continuous process, so that soon it will also bring pleasant results. The Prime Minister has also shown his wish to make this mission a mass movement because without the participation of every individual of the country the mission cannot be completed.
Government’s Initiatives for the Mission
Cleanliness is directly related to health and it is not difficult to imagine the beautiful transformation of clean India into a healthy India. Significantly, when the Prime Minister in his Independence Day message had expressed his resolve to build toilets in all the schools of the country within a year, then he indicated that the government made up its mind to start the planned campaign to make cleanliness and sanitation a mass movement.
The importance of cleanliness in the daily life of the Father of the Nation, the same need, unless people feel in their personal life also, till then the feeling of certainty for the success of this campaign cannot be instilled in people.
The Prime Minister’s statement is absolutely correct that if the countrymen decide to devote only two hours in a week, i.e., only 100 hours of the year to improve the sanitation system around them, then the picture of the country will change.
How Swachh Bharat Mission has become a Mass Movement?
Sanitation Campaign has taken a form of a mass movement or national movement by calling upon people to join the swachh Bharat Mission Campaign. The message of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has aroused a sense of responsibility among the people. Now the citizens are actively involved in the work of cleanliness across the country to fulfill the dream of Mahatma Gandhi.
Different sections of the society have come forward and participated heartily in this mass campaign of cleanliness and have contributed. From government employees to defense personals, Bollywood actors to sportspersons, industrialists to spiritual leaders, elite class to common men expressed their commitment to this great cause.
Millions of people from all across the country have been involved in these cleanliness activities run by the government, including NGOs and local community centers in this work, through plays and Musical programmes for cleanliness and good health to spread the message to the people, cleanliness campaigns are being conducted on a large scale all across the country.
Now Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has taken a form of a mass movement as it has got immense support from the people. After the launch of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, it has become the nature and habit of the public to raise brooms for cleaning the streets, cleaning garbage, focusing on cleanliness and creating a healthy environment around them. The public is helping to spread the message of ‘Cleanliness is near to Godliness’ and is getting involved in this work.
What has been Achieved in the First Five Years?
On the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of the father of nation, Mahatma Gandhi, the P.M. of India Sri Narendra Modi has declared the whole country ODF nation from the famous Sabarmati Ashram of Bapu. The construction of 11 crore 11 lakh toilet in a period of 5 years to make India free from defecation in open has saved the lives of more than 3 lakh people said a report by WHO. The government elaborate the facts that 27 states, 601 districts, 5934 blocks,2 lakh 46 thousand Gram Panchayats and 5,50,151 villages have been declared ODF till then.
Modi said that in a country recently, such a campaign like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was not heard and seen. Even though our government has started this campaign, the people took command of it in their own hands. He also told that the result of this campaign is that where rural sanitation was less than 40 percent before 2014, today it is almost reaching 100 percent.
The Bill and Milinda Gates Foundation honoured Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the ‘Global Goalkeeper’ award for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by the Government of India. The Prime Minister said that giving me this award on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is also very important for me personally. This is a proof that if the manpower of 130 crore people gets involved in fulfilling any one resolution, then any challenge can be won.
He dedicated this honor to the Indians who converted the Swachh Bharat Mission into a mass movement and started making cleanliness a top priority in their daily lives.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has Changed People’s Mindset
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has changed the mindset of the people. Now people are well aware of the cleanliness and have started taking initiatives to keep their houses and surrounding neat and clean. They all are well aware of the benefits of cleanliness in their life and now they are making pace with the government initiative and conscious about the health and hygiene issues.
Increase in ODF Villages
The number of ODF (Open Defecation Free) villages is steadily increasing. According to the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, open defecation-free scale is essential when people will use of toilets, in other words, all people from all families in the Gram Panchayat, district or state (all rural) use the toilet.
How is Cleanliness Increasing?
According to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Rural) data under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, as of February 2018, about 613 million domestic toilets have been built. In the last two years, the number of ODF villages has increased by 2, 69,565 i.e. 572 per cent (about 6.7 times). Trusting the statistics, since 2015, about 51 thousand toilets are being constructed in the villages every day in three years. Since the year 2016, nearly 3, 70,000 villages have been declared ODF.
In many districts and villages, different methods are being used for its implementation or awareness; these special methods are also being discussed.
Different People Different Opinions
- For example, Dr. Nishi Gandha, the president of Solapur District Panchayat in Maharashtra, keeps visiting villages to meet Panchayat members, school children, officials, citizens. She tells people about its benefits and needs in a very effective way. She has taken a pledge not to wear footwear until all the villages of the entire district are free from open defecation.
- In West Bengal, a school child put up advertisements at specific places in the village, marking the names of such people in the villages. This new idea helped the community succeed in its campaign.
- The Mahila Mandal of Kothi Gram Panchayat in Himachal introduced a new item for waste management. These people collect polythene from homes. Bags are prepared for lifting garbage using plastic waste, which is hung on trees along the roads, so that people avoid throwing garbage on the streets.
- The Ranchi Municipal Corporation launched a ‘Halla Bol, lungi khol’ campaign against open defecation. Under this, the corporation officials would catch people defecating in the open and confiscate their lungi (an open cloth sheet to cover the lower part of the body).
- A development fund has been set up at the village Panchayat-level in Mandi, from which 7 to 20 lakh rupees have been collected according to the number of houses. This fund is used to develop toilets, manure, Vermi-compost pits or drains for rain water in villages, awards are also given. There are 4,490 Mahila Mandals in Mandi district with about 70 thousand members, who ensure cleanliness in the villages and explain the importance of total sanitation and water conservation to the people. Mandi was declared the cleanest hilly district in the year 2016.
- Influenced by the Swachh Bharat Mission in a village in Gaya, Bihar, the daughter-in-law of a family took out her jewels to build a toilet in the house and handed over to her mother-in-law. Assuming the daughter-in-law’s thinking was true, her mother-in-law returned her jewels and sold the cow that provided milk to the house and spent the money in building a toilet.
- When this campaign was launched, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha had less than 30 percent toilets. However, no state is in this category today.
Awareness is Spreading in Society
The achievement of Swachh Bharat Mission at the national level has been spectacular. It is true that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has changed the thinking of the villagers. There is increasing awareness about this mission in villages. If society is conscious, then it also makes its own system. It starts paying attention to the garbage and sanitation by itself.
The Will of the Government is Visible
The Modi government wants to commemorate Gandhiji’s 150th birth anniversary this year that is why it is working with the intention of making the country open defecation free. The previous governments had also tried to run such schemes but they could not proceed in the way the current Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is taking shape.
For the last few months, the government had requested all the MPs to lead this campaign in the adopted villages. He also requested the MPs to start various programs at the Panchayat level for the ‘overall development’ of the villages. However, the good thing is that the government’s plan is going on continuously and it also shows its full will. Therefore, continuous progress is also seen in it.
80 Percent Ganga Cleanup by 2019
The work of cleaning Ganga is being done at a rapid pace. It is expected that 80 percent of the river will be clean by March next year. Statistics released by the Ministry of Water Resources indicate that 251 gross pollution industries (GPIs) operating along the Ganges has been closed. ‘Real-time monitoring’ of pollution has been completed in 938 industries and 211 main ‘drains’ which pollute the river. Now to complete the projects as soon as possible, the state governments have to start the implementation work with the Center. The contribution of people in cleaning process and pledge taken by mass will change the scenario.
The Namami Gange project is not a simple project, but it is related to the cleanliness of the river which is 2,500 km long. It covers 29 big cities, 48 towns and 23 small towns. Five states of India, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar fall in the path of river Ganges. From this perspective, this project is quite challenging.
The Modi government has created a project called National Mission i.e. NMCG for cleaning the Ganges. The NMCG has spent Rs 16.6 billion cleaning the Ganges in the last two years. According to the CAG, the Controller and Auditor General of India, the Central Government has allocated an amount of 67 billion rupees for cleaning the Ganges with the participation of the mass. This data is from April 2015 to March 2017.
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has become a mass movement under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM Modi tried to bring awareness and positive thinking in the country towards cleanliness, and today this campaign has become a very important mass movement of independent India. No one has ever thought of the initiative taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clean the country. Now people’s thinking towards cleanliness has been changed and the people started to take initiatives to keep clean their surroundings. We are thankful to media that has cooperated to make this mission a success. In present time everyone is talking about cleanliness and expressing their views on global warming and climate change that shows the success of the mission.