Human beings want things to be clean around them; lack of dirt is a basic hygiene expectation. Would you want to live in a dirty city?
“Cleanliness is next to godliness.” Gandhiji was so futuristic in equating a clean environment to a temple, metaphorically.
India is unparalleled in its diversity of landscapes, cultures, and ethnic groups. It is also very diverse in civic habits, especially cleanliness.
While we see in most cities’ large garbage dumps, plastic waste as well as rampant littering, on the sterling example of what can be called a people’s movement is the clean city of Indore. Indore is officially India’s cleanest city, for three consecutive years.
Was Indore always clean? No, Indore was one of the worse off cities in matters regarding cleanliness
There used to be a time when there was a lot of trash – on the streets, there was a mix of garbage bins as well as piles that used to stink, apart from being an eyesore. Not only were these a cause for health problems, but there were also animals and insects that used to openly have a buffet and further spread the mess
Civic disdain and disappointment took the form of a mass movement and forced Political leaders to act upon the clearing of the mess. Once there was an agreement on a combined mission to remove the garbage and clean the city. The civic authority initiated a major drive to eliminate garbage dumps and initiated trucks which embarked on a door to door collection on a daily basis. Very soon, there was a small miracle which was visible – the city started to look clean
This involved a public awareness campaign to change public behavior and to make them more responsible. This is how the city started its movement towards being a clean city
How did Indore manage this massive turnaround? What went behind the scenes to enable this? Let's take a look:
It has been a consistent well -panned effort, implemented in a praise-worthy alliance of government and citizens. The waste is generally segregated, and more than 500 garbage trucks that travel door-to-door for collecting garbage. People divide garbage into two categories which are dry and wet garbage which is beneficial for the environment.
There are dustbins everywhere and they are also categorized into two different sets that are wet and dry garbage. People are not supposed to keep garbage on roads. And if they do so the garbage collectors do not allow the garbage to pile up and collect it straight away.
Recycling has played a big role in this journey – recycling companies have become active and a large amount of waste is reused. Some of the waste issued to make roads, organic waste is turned to manure or compost.
This was a brief snipped into the lovely transformation of Indore – from an eyesore to a brilliant. Indore has shown the way- let’s hope more and more cities in India take inspiration from this and start their journey towards a much better and cleaner environment.
By: Shreya Pandit
School: Delhi Public School, Gautam Buddh Nagar