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Swachh Bharat Mission of Modi Government is an “Example-Setting Programme for World”

The components of the government's flagship scheme include the construction of household toilets, community and public toilets

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The Swacch Bharat (Clean India) campaign was launched by the Modi government on Gandhi's birth anniversary on October 2, 2014. Pixabay

The ‘Swachh Bharat Mission of the Modi government is an “example-setting programme for the world” and a “game-changer” as it altered the way Indian society behaved towards cleanliness, a top official of the UNICEF said.

In an interview to IANS, UNICEF India’s Sanitation (WASH) chief Nicolas Osbert showered praise on the programme announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his maiden Independence Day address in 2014 from the ramparts of Red Fort.

The Swacch Bharat (Clean India) campaign was launched by the Modi government on Gandhi’s birth anniversary on October 2, 2014. The components of the government’s flagship scheme include the construction of household toilets, community and public toilets and solid waste management.

“It caught us all by surprise, us, the international crowd, the development crowd. Look at India, a very powerful country, going for space conquest, having such powerful industries, such strong research on the robotics and on IT and as much as India was dreaming of all of these, I think, in August 2014, saying that we are going to clean this mess, so we have a strong base for our development, was a good move,” Osbter said.

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The ‘Swachh Bharat Mission of the Modi government is an “example-setting programme for the world” and a “game-changer” as it altered the way Indian society behaved. Flickr

“Five years ago, I was told that talking about open defection was a taboo here, even with the administration and the people but after Swachh bharat, even the Chief Ministers, District Magistrates propagate open defecation free India,” he added.

He highlighted the positive global impact that success of Swachh Bharat Mission brought with itself.

“A lot of countries from the world now come to India to learn about Swachh Bharat Mission. Just a year ago, 55 ministers from across the globe visited India to measure impact of Swachh Bharat and they went back to their countries very much inspired,” Osbert said.

According to Osbert, the primary goal behind the Swachh Bharat Mission has been met but the project needs to continue and with bigger goals this time so that the aim to get a clean India is achieved.

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“The positive impact of the movement is clear on the field and is certainly measurable,” he said.

“Five years of time, considering the size and diversity of the nation, the success of Swachh Bharat Mission is a world record. This is certainly a world record,” Osbert emphasised.

“But I must say the battle is won, as we complete five years of Swachh Bharat Mission. With that being said, I would add that India needs to continue the mission ahead and also work on other important aspects, like hand washing with soap, maintaining the toilets,” Osbert said.

Highlighting the prime reason for mission’s success, Osbert compared Swachh Bharat Mission with various sanitation-promoting initiatives that were run previously in India.

Modi, Government, Programme
In an interview to IANS, UNICEF India’s Sanitation (WASH) chief Nicolas Osbert showered praise on the programme announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his maiden Independence Day address in 2014. Flickr

“Swachh Bharat is not the first initiative that India has taken to improve sanitation in India, but the biggest reason makes it stand apart from others was the focus on society’s behaviour,” he said.

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“Other initiatives had to offer from techniques to infrastructure but the Swachh Bharat stood apart from them as it included element of behaviour change. The government made sure that techniques and infrastructure were used by every man, which was possible by involving everyone in the process,” Osbter said. (IANS)

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PM Modi Stooped Down to Lift Environmental Awareness

The “greed of capitalists” alone has in fact pricked the body of the ecology

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Frankly speaking, the major changes in our lifestyles and practices are to be blamed. Pixabay

BY SALIL GEWALI 

We should not hold back from doing the right thing. More so when the situation is getting worse day by day. Truly, for numerous reasons, our planet earth is not the same as the one we inherited 50 years ago. We can see a vast difference in the climate now and that of a half-century ago. We have badly messed up with everything mother nature has given us. In many states in India the temperature has almost almost touched 50 – degrees in summer. It is ominous. Many warning bells are repeatedly being tolled by the environmental scientists. PM.

Frankly speaking, the major changes in our lifestyles and practices are to be blamed. Our occupations and the business, and its related production units that send the “smoke” up must be stopped forthwith. The “greed of capitalists” alone has in fact pricked the body of the ecology. It has blackened the atmosphere; it has punctured the ozone layers!

Anyway, the good news is here. To litter our surroundings is a criminal offense now in some of the states in India. Hope we can heave a sigh of relief. Let that be both in letter and spirit. More than anything we have littered and contaminated our “water bodies”, which is ecologically the worst thing ever. Its deleterious impacts upon the environment are very diverse.

In the past three months, I’ve had hot exchanges with a number of people wanting to dump their garbage to the nearby drains/streams. I tried a lot to convince them. Many became convinced too and but some are exceptionally brute. I wonder how do we describe this brand of people! What is very disgusting is that the people with impunity throw the hard-woods, shoes and heaps of clothes, apart from the reeking stuff inside the plastic bags, into the peacefully flowing streams/revers/seas. Some just throw grocery sacks full of garbage into the drains. This is outrageous; it should be held as an “ecological sin”. Such folks can hardly think that garbage can cause the blockage to the drain. Their cerebral nerves must be invariably blocked. They can’t think anything that happens next due to their own acts. There are many NGOs and academic institutions which are serving as watchdogs. They are dedicatedly working to create environmental awareness among the general people. They all deserve a pat on their backs.

PM, Modi, Environmental
Our occupations and the business, and its related production units that send the “smoke” up must be stopped forthwith.

Look at how PM Modi himself stooped to pick up all discarded empty plastic bottles, plates and other garbage recently at Mamallapuram beach in Tamil Nadu. Through this he wants to send out the clear message to each citizen of India that we as an individual citizen must come out to clean our houses, our surroundings and water bodies. He is indeed leaving no stone unturned to sensitize each citizen. Of course, ever since he took over the charge of the highest office, he has been going hammer and tongs at the awareness campaigns of healthy living and mitigation of ecological hazard.

Very importantly, what one feels is that all concerned administrative authorities, all police departments and the conscious citizens must wake up and come out with brooms. Also, let’s capture the pictures of those who commit “criminal offence” of garbage throwing into the drains/streams/seas on our cell phones. We have taken meaningless selfies all these days, now let’s take the snapshots slyly who defile the very face of mother earth. Let’s all act as active whistle-blowers. Let such implicating pictures be shared with Municipality and the Police Department.

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It is worthwhile, apart from the heavy fine, let’s have regulations that the offenders be completely barred from driving their vehicles and operating the bank transaction for a period of one year and the like. If similar acts are repeated then they be further barred from other public facilities as a citizen. These kinds of punitive measures can be a very effective deterrent. What more, if possible, those “pictures of the messy offenders” be “published” in the print media and social media. One is confident that the media houses can play a lead role by exposing unhealthy practice of the offenders. Let they all be burned with shame so that other will not repeat the dirty offence again! Come on, do not mess around any longer.  Moreover, PM Modi himself is stooping down to lift the image of India!

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali