“Sanitation is more important than Independence”; these words of Gandhiji have laid the foundation for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Clean India Campaign is one of its kind in the history of India led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a perfect day of Gandhi Jayanti. On 2 October 2014, Narendra Modi launched this nationwide campaign that aims to clean up the country in the next five years; for he believes that Gandhiji not only fought for independence but also for a clean country.
The campaign aims to cover 4041 statutory towns to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country. The campaign was launched by the Prime Minister himself by cleaning the roads in Delhi. Its inaugural proved one of the biggest campaigns when millions of students, employees and citizens participated in the event, cleaning various localities. Modi exclaimed “Is cleaning only the responsibility of the karamcharis? Do citizens have no role in this? We have to change this mindset.” He asked all the citizens including celebrities, sports legends and business tycoons to join the campaign.
Modi had invited nine public figures: Mridula Sinha, Sachin Tendulkar, Baba Ramdev, Shashi Tharoor, Anil Ambani, Kamal Hasan, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Team of Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashmah–to make a contribution towards Swachh Bharat, share the same on social media, and invite nine other people to do the same, hence forming a chain. He has asked people to share their contributions on social media.
He has asked every Indian to spend 100 hours annually in this drive. He has even urged the need to build toilets for proper sanitation. Modi believes that other nations are clean not only because of the efficient clean drive, but because of the joint efforts of citizens too. The citizens over there are aware of their responsibility and thus refrain from littering.
Volunteer actor Ravi Kishan said, “We always enforce our Fundamental Rights but we never try to carry out our Fundamental Duties. I’m supporting the Clean India campaign because just like our Prime Minister’s concern, I too share the vision of a Clean India, Green India.” Eminent people have come out themselves shouldering the responsibility. HRD Minister Smriti Irani has directed on the use of Corporate Social Responsibility funds for construction of toilets as part of the Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya Campaign.
Modi aims to fulfil the dream of clean India by the 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji. To check the progress of the campaign, Modi has himself made surprise visits to various offices. His team of ministers too, has contributed by taking up the task of cleaning. Students of Delhi University have decided to study the impact of this campaign thereby suggesting scope for improvement. After the completion of 5 years they will submit the document including success rate, problems and various other studies and findings related to the campaign.
Clean India can inevitably boost the international tourism thereby adding to country’s growth. The campaign has just started, for its success every citizen has to put in efforts. Only then our nation can become a world-class country like European countries. No matter how successfully our economy booms; if the country is not clean at the ground level, the citation of being a developed nation will also not yield result. Modi maintains Indians can do it. If Indians can reach Mars with minimum expense then they can even clean their nation.