To give tribute to the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, Our Prime Minister had launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan on 2nd October 2014. This was launched on the 150th birth anniversary of Bapu at Rajpath in New Delhi. This national movement was launched as a campaign to achieve a clean India by 2nd October 2019.
This was the Prime Minister’s effort to accelerate and achieve universal sanitation and hygiene in the nation. To stress his focus on sanitation and health, this mission was started. The coordinators for this mission are the secretary of Ministry of Drinking water and Sanitation, i.e., MDWS and it handles two sub missions of Swachh Bharat urban and rural.
The Prime Minister invited all citizens of the nation to participate in this movement, and it gained national support. It evoked a sense of responsibility amongst the people for cleanliness. This dream of Mahatma Gandhi is slowly taking shape after public awareness and support. The Prime Minister too cleaned the streets in his cleanliness drive in Varanasi. Almost half of the nation faces health issues because of lack of cleanliness and proper sanitation.
Some statistics associated with Swachh Bharat Mission:
- Total budget allocated to this project is 60,000 crore INR per year.
- 78% of the sewage was being dumped in rivers.
- 68% of rural households had no toilets.
- Around 6000 tonnes of plastic waste was accumulated daily.
- 68.8 mn tonnes of waste was accumulated every year.
- 597 mn defecation was done in the open.
- 41 mn missing toilets were there.
- India’s GDP was affected by 6.4% because of lack of sanitation.
- Per capita income can increase by 6000 INR a year if proper sanitation is provided.
This mission was started to change all these statistics, and till now it has done quite a good job, and it is still progressing towards achieving a clean India.
Gandhi’s thought on cleanliness:
Gandhiji was one of the prime freedom fighters and leaders of the Indian Independence Movement. But even after freedom, his dream of a clean India remains unfulfilled. He mentioned that “Sanitation is more important than independence.” Sanitation and cleanliness were an integral part of his way of life. He wanted total sanitation for all class of society. This is because cleanliness is vital for physical as well as mental health and well-being. It is important to educate people about hygiene, cleanliness, and sanitation as well as various diseases caused by poor hygiene.
Some people tend to include personal hygiene in their lives but keep public places dirty which is completely wrong. He wanted that no one should clean his nose or spit on streets. This can cause the spread of germs and infections to others. He believed that people that spit on public places have no concern for others and society.
Cleanliness and hygiene is an important part of our daily life as well as for society and the nation. We should also follow the path shown by Mahatma Gandhi and participate in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan at individual and group level. Also, we must educate our maids, family members, friends and relatives and others about cleanliness. Using social media to create awareness about cleanliness is also very important. Even government officers, local communities, television, and media, as well as NGO’s, are playing an important role in this mission.