Clean India – Attitude change is more important than the movement.

Clean India – Attitude change is more important than the movement.

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Prime Minister Modi has laid a lot of emphasis on cleanliness. People keep their home clean, but when it comes to surroundings like streets, parks etc. nobody cares because they perceive it as the duty of government even though they themselves are responsible for throwing garbage and making their surroundings dirty. Taking action for making India clean through this campaign itself is the first necessary step towards realizing this dream.  In this direction, he launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. This movement envisages a clean India through participation of every Indian. PM Modi also asked Indians to make cleanliness a mass movement, urged youth to be part of the Clean India project and called upon people to use social media to share their role in making Indian cities and towns more live able. A lot of suspicion prevails over the success of this campaign, as many are arguing that until the attitude and mentality of people changes no campaign can clean.

India can change radically if citizens imbibed discipline. India can do it; the people of India can do it. It takes time to change the established mindset as we have to change the attitude of people. Indians generally cares very less about hygiene. Most of them even spit where ever they want, as they are unaware of the health implications. Their habit will not change unless they are aware. Workers indulge in cleaning jobs hardly gets any respect within the society. Most of them are from Scheduled casts. Unless the mentality towards these workers and their job changes, we cannot expect the mass participation.

The issue of cleanliness was not given enough priority during the last many decades. The mission highlights the importance of cleanliness very well. The prime minister named nine people — including cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, actors Priyanka Chopra, Salman Khan and Kamal Hasan, industrialist Anil Ambani, Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, Congress Leader Shashi Tharoor, Yoga Guru Ramdev and a team of TV serial ‘Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chasma’ — to spread the message of Clean India. Government has also started a campaign on cleanliness through social media using his website MyGov.in and other such websites, including a new website dedicated to Clean India Campaign. He also urged people to take an oath to be committed and dedicated towards cleanliness of the country. The task is enormous and will require a change in individual behavior as well as a transformation in the back-end capability to provide the tools, processes, systems and structures that make hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation achievable and sustainable.

It is important to understand what Swachh actually means. Building toilets is an important part of it, as even after several years of Independence only a 30% of rural households have access to toilets. But along with this we have two equally important tasks: one is hygiene and other one is how to handle and deal with garbage. Each department has to join with the government at their level, as we have to move from step one.

A lot has been done to make people aware of cleanliness and hygiene, now it’s time for citizen of India to learn the facts and apply them into actions. Swachh Bharat Campaign requires comprehensive and coordinated efforts to create the back-end infrastructure to deal with solutions to segregate at source, create dry waste collection centers, compost the wet waste to make it reusable as soil, etc. Most of all it will require a massive behavioral change and significant investment in creating a garbage management system that uses science, technology and logistics that convert garbage to something of value. It should be a combined effort of government and people. There is no doubt about the fact that change begins at home. Every citizen of the country should take it upon himself to make this campaign a success rather than waiting for the government to do because until and unless people change their mindset no movement can be a success.