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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Moving towards a clean India

One of the best initiatives of recent times has been the “Swacchh Bharat Abhiyan” for cleanliness is always the precursor to all good things. And my recent visit to Indore, the commercial capital of the heart of incredible India that has recently been declared as the cleanest city in the country was indeed an eye opener. What a makeover this city has undergone in recent times with absolutely no litter and an aura of freshness enveloping it. The impact of this abhiyan was evident, nice and proper in this city known for the holkar dynasty and amazing tourist destinations in its vicinity.

Battling with unkempt offices and territories and trying to make them swanky in an effort to improve efficiency and in the process deliverance has always been the hallmark of all those who really are in love with what they do for they have realized that the behaviour of individuals is to a great extent conditioned by the surrounding environment. Disorganized office spaces tattered with broken furniture and paper strewn all around never inspires confidence in those who inhabit it let alone people who have to visit them for getting their work done. Yet the staid scenario continues almost everywhere with the inhabitants aspiring for a clean environment, without their having to contribute of-course.

And the general disdain for cleaning up things is unfortunately omnipresent and I witnessed the same in the variety of postings I did, be it within railways or the state and central public sector undertakings. The cleaning up drive initiated at the new delhi railway station in the run up to the commonwealth games that started with a dialogue with and an exhortation to the safaiwalas to take pride in their work had such a powerful impact that with minor hiccups the station has generally remained clean since then.

It has been almost the same everywhere, broken furniture, dirty files and computers, stinking curtains, betal stained staircases and discarded things strewn everywhere. Public places, especially tourist sites with exceptions ofcourse generally leave much to be desired. The un-swacchh environment also goes a long way in propagating an unhealthy and worse still an unethical work culture besides being acting as a great demotivating factor.

Besides creating a good environment, what the swacchh bharat abhiyan would also ultimately lead to is an ethical conduct in public and private lives. Gandhi rightly said that cleanliness is akin to godliness for god would never truly reside in a place that smacks of an unkempt environment.

How is it that an average countryman who does not think twice before littering his office and roads, behaves impeccably when travelling beyond the shores of the nation whether for work or pleasure? While a clean environment encourages further cleanliness (I did not witness people littering in Indore) the fear of being hauled up by the agencies or being pulled up by the people around also acts as an able deterrence. This fear in course of time leads to habit forming.

Before this swacchh abhiyan kicked in in true earnest, one never found earnestness in similar drives conducted in the past, drives that actually never went beyond mere lip service. Never before in the past cleanliness was taken up as a mission by the nation as a whole and we ended up stacking garbage in every nook and corner.


We can aspire for excellence only when we keep even our own areas of influence clean and well organized? We all therefore need to be a part of this great national cause and make our own contribution in our areas of influence by keeping them sparkingly clean and proper.