“Cleanliness is godliness” is a famous saying that we all have heard. Being clean and hygienic is very important for each one of us. Also, it is important for us to keep our surroundings clean and tidy. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) or Clean India Mission is a nationwide initiative for a period starting from 2014 and ending in the year 2019.
The father of nation, Mahatma Gandhi had always dreamed to make India a clean India and has always maintained his hard efforts for maintaining cleanliness in India. This is the reason behind the birth of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan which was launched on 2nd of October (the birthday of the Mahatma Gandhi). To meet the vision of the father of the nation, Indian government has resolved to launch this campaign. The initiative aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of the various cities, towns and rural areas across India. The major objectives of Swachh Bharat are eliminating open defecation with the help of construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring toilet use. The mission has set a deadline for itself i.e. 2nd October, 2019 which shall mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, for achieving an "open-defecation free" (ODF) India. The initiative aims at constructing nearly 90 million toilets in the rural areas of India at a projected cost of Rs. 1.96 lakh crore (US$30 billion). The mission also aims at contributing to the Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) which was established by the UN in the year 2015. The campaign came into effect on 2 October 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi by PM Modi. The initiative has received the support from over three million government employees and students from all parts of India participating in 4,041 cities, towns, and rural areas. The mission has primarily two thrusts: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ("gramin" or 'rural'), which operates under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ('urban'), which operates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. If we wish to achieve the goal of clean and green India, indeed we all have to come together and join hands and contribute to this initiative immensely. In accordance with this, the support of the students in this mission is very crucial. Students are the future of India. They are the emerging crops of the nation. Students have been made the brand ambassadors of this noble mission. The major role that students can play in this initiative is as follows:
(a) There is a need for students to understand the importance of this mission and crucially participate in cleaning their own space first.
(b) Students need to train their younger ones to keep things clean.
(c) They can also visit rural areas and bring out the importance of mission and encourage them in contributing to it.
(d) Students need to actively participate in the Government programs regarding swachhta and come together by joining hands in those so as to promote cleanliness.
(e) Undergraduate students can take up this objective as their major role, clean and keep tidy their respective localities.
(f) Students can create groups and go on the mission of collecting funds for this initiative. This can be successful just like it proves successful in case of arranging funds for New Year celebrations, Ganesh Chathurti, etc.
(g) With the help of the financial support, the students can set the cleaning drive. Alongside, they can build a mechanism so as to manage waste in the long run, which can be a very crucial role played by them towards the mission.
(h) Students can go forward and arrange camps in various regions, locations and share their experiences with respect to the mission that can prove motivating for others.
(i) The major aim of the mission is to reach every locality and home so as to transform our country entirely.
(j) Students need to realize that swachhta begins at one’s home, school and surroundings.
(k) Students should ask right questions to Government officials about policies adopted and rules brought up regarding industrial wastes etc and make Government answerable.
(l) Organize seminars and awareness campaigns and teach the illiterate people about the advantages of cleanliness. Explain to them the consequences of involving into spitting, peeing and littering in public and how it affects the mission’s goal at large.
(m) Promoting the use of dustbins in public and private places.
(n) Preventing people from throwing wrappers of eatables and other packed items on roads.
(o) Educate people regarding proper and clean sanitation.
(p) Students should organize plays, speeches and dramas etc. for spreading awareness.
(q) School authorities can also play an important role by educating the students about personal hygiene and sanitation facilities and encouraging them to keep their surroundings pollutant free.
(r) Students should practice segregation of wastes into dry and wet i.e., they must keep vegetables and fruits waste as wet and plastic wastes as dry by keeping two separate dustbins.
(s) In Rural areas, students should spread awareness and benefits of using toilets.
Indeed without the support of students, this mission cannot achieve success. The role of students shall bring about behavioral changes in public and encourage health practices, spreading awareness and strengthening the cleanliness systems. Clean India also brings forth changes concerning investments by foreign country leading to economic development of our country and its growth. Clean India shall not only improvise and make the surroundings clean but shall also increase and improvise the tourist attention also towards India. The participation and involvement of students on this mission is already showing results in various parts of the country. If this speed continues then there is absolutely no doubt in achieving the target and dream of Mahatma Gandhi can be finally fulfilled on his 150th birth anniversary i.e., on 2nd October,2019.
By: Anuja Arora
Posted By - Assistant Editor