President of India, Ram Nath Kovind launches nationwide sanitation campaign Swachhta hi Sewa. The launch was at Ishwariganj village in Kanpur. The sole purpose of this campaign is to create a clean, healthy and new India. There were awards for village-level champions who are contributing to making Ishwariganj village ‘Open Defecation Free’. As the President says India is touching the decisive phase of its battle for cleanliness and hygiene. In fact, this is a campaign where the contribution has to come from each and every citizen of the country. We all need to take an oath to ensure our commitment towards public hygiene, personal hygiene, and environmental hygiene. Logically, if we see, cleanliness is not the responsibility of only sanitation personnel. In fact, it is national movement in which everyone is a stakeholder. The onus lies on all of us in a collective manner.
Swachhta hi Sewa is all about a sincere effort to clean our houses, public places, villages, and cities. As a matter of fact, the sole aim is allround cleanliness and hygiene everywhere. This is something that thrives towards the prosperity of our people. In fact, achieving the goals of this campaign will be an absolute tribute to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. On a parallel note, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) in collaboration with Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) also launches the fortnight-long cleanliness campaign with the same name. But a point to ponder is if a week, fortnight, or month is good enough to create an impact. Or is it merely for some kind of publicity.
Swachhta Hi Sewa Is A Mass Drive
Anil Baijal, LG, Delhi says the NDMC must declare the entire Municipality area under its jurisdiction an entirely Open Defecation Free (ODF). He also says that the NDMC is now alert in terms of response to waste disposal and cleanliness. Something disturbs here is what are the alert, response, and monitoring mechanisms in place? Why can’t the whole mechanism becomes transparent by publishing it online in a real-time environment? We are still far away from the gap between the reality of what our leaders say and what happens in actual. In fact, do we actually need a monitoring mechanism? Are we still in schools? Are we not getting too much optimistic about Swachhta hi Sewa? Just declaring is not a successful implementation.
Maturity is not in declaring big things. The maturity of a leader is in creating a foolproof mechanism to ensure adherence towards good governance. Of course, Swachhta hi Sewa is a mass movement and not merely an NDMC campaign or a single state’s drive. He is right while advising people to adopt cleanliness as an everyday chore. It should become a habit and culture rather than a show business for some leaders. Swachhta pledge is something that every single person of the nation needs to take. Some steps that DoPT is taking in this regard during a period of September 15, 2017, to October 2, 2017, are like this. There is a Swachhta Monitoring Committee in each of its three premises in Delhi.
Swachhta Hi Sewa – DoPT’s vigorous plans
DoPT is moving vigorously towards 100% implementation of e-office to reduce paper consumption and thus reducing garbage. This is again a political stunt. Where are the plan and strategy? And what about educating staff in this regard? Changing mindsets is the biggest hurdle otherwise Swachhta hi Sewa will remain as a paper project as usual. There has been an eco-friendly system installation in the DoPT canteen in North Block. It will convert bio-waste into manure. If it is a successful deployment fetching fruitful results, why not replicate its deployment in a faster manner? Merely deploying sanitary napkin disposal machines in all ladies washrooms for better hygiene is a good concept. But is it happening in reality? What is the pace?
DoPT employees plan to offer Shramdan during this fortnight celebration of Swachhta hi Sewa campaign. This will include tree plantation drive at Vinay Marg playground during this period. Is that enough? Will it balance the equation of cutting of trees versus plantation of trees? Most interesting thing is the distribution of T-shirts and caps with the Swachh Bharat Mission logo. All these activities, if fakely done, give you ample scope of playing with money, time, and resources. Why can’t this money go in an alternative but meaningful manner? What is the real mission is something important to introspect.
Defence Ministry joins Swachhta Hi Sewa
Joining the Swachhta hi Sewa, Defence Ministry also comes with their action plan. It includes overall cleanliness drive in and outside South Block and Sena Bhawan during the campaign period of 18 days. It includes provision of dustbins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable wate, removal of junk material, cleaning of the buildings and surrounding areas. But is this not a regular routine activity? For years now we are talking about seggregation of wastes. Is is still not there in the top government buildings? Or this is just another Neta talk to demonstrate your contribution? Doing the same stupid activities repeatedly in the name of new campaigns suffice the purpose? Well, there will also be competition on poem, slogans, and essays on Swachh Bharat Mission.