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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pledging to maintain Cleanliness

The mission to make India a clean place is indeed a noble one. And the 2nd of October, being the birthday of the Mahatma was ideal for rolling it out this year.

While it shall definitely take some time for cleanliness in public places to attain desirable levels, it is of essence that the tremendous impact cleanliness has in creating a good environment should find root in the psyche of the citizens. The earlier it actually happens, the better it would be for the nation. 

Yet the fact that this mission is piloted by the Prime Minister himself gives solace that at-least some progress would definitely be achieved. The resoluteness with which issues are being handled by the present government gives confidence that in a couple of years, the nation would indeed be a much cleaner place with rhetoric having been relegated to the back seat at present.

A clean environment is at the root of almost everything including human happiness. It enhances productivity, creates a good living environment and enhances satisfaction and happiness levels. The Mahatma realized it almost a century ago when he called the cleaners “harijan” ie men of god. He also equated cleanliness with godliness.

Yet the nation remained dirty, the marketplaces, the roads, tourist sites, railway stations and the bus depots, almost all still bear the stamp of an unclean place. Even temples of worship have generally failed to maintain a semblance of cleanliness and that foxes me. How even tiny Asian countries are able to maintain cleanliness in their public places and private and why we have been a miserable failure on this important front?

Has it something to do with our culture and if so, why the same indian who litters on home soil displays perfect behavior even in matters of keeping his surroundings clean when not on the home soil. Perhaps more than culture, it is about conditioning and fear and also about pride. I clearly remember the seventies when the Kolkata metro emerged, the same “bhadralok” who considered defiling his city as his birthright, maintained impeccable cleanliness at metro stations even to the extent of admonishing one who littered within the confines of swanky metro territory. A difference made in a span of a few steps only. Perhaps this shows that a clean nation is indeed possible.

But not without a firm resolve. With my better half taking good (and clean) care of the home territory, I have pledged to ensure that the office space occupied by me and my team is always maintained in a state of pristine cleanliness. I am also inspired by the the clean india campaign of indiantopblogs (http://www.indiantopblogs.com/2014/10/diwali-and-clean-india.html) and am contributing my wee bit to their effort.

And the genuine national effort this time in this direction gives me hope of being able to witness an immaculately clean and by corollary an economically strong and contented India in my lifetime. 

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