India has a population of 1.3 billion which has caused stressed environmental changes since most cities and towns have been unable to keep up with the rapid pace of urbanization. Deforestation, lack of safe drinking water, open dumping of waste, inadequate sanitary systems, etc have had serious consequences on the health and lifestyle of people and resulted as a burden to the growing economy.
Keeping this in mind, the CLEAN India mission, as a model of sustainable development was launched on 2nd October 2014. The father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi dreamt of a cleaner country, preaching that proper hygiene and sanitation were essential to keep the society intact.
Community-based programs are required to make the people understand issues on the regional level and take the necessary initiatives to improve the local environmental conditions. CLEAN-India (Community-Led Environment Action Network) aims to mobilize active participation in the community to assess and improve the environmental conditions of all major towns and urban centers through schools, NGOs, and other institutions.
A large population, especially young adults and children, are particularly vulnerable to degrading conditions. Furthermore, the younger generations will have to live with the consequences of the decisions and initiatives taken and the extent to which they have worked. They have a special responsibility to engage in different activities to ensure necessary changes in response to environmental challenges. CLEAN India provides them with an opportunity to engage with it and converge their efforts towards bringing a positive change in society.
In the last sixteen years, this mission has gathered a lot of appreciation and criticism for its various success stories as well as its shortcomings. But more is yet to come as we continue to follow and engage in the work to take this movement further.
By: Samridhi Dhanoa
School: Delhi Public School, GBN