Friday, 12 December 2014

#SwacchIndia - it's high time to make India clean and hygienic

"A sound surrounding makes for a sound mind" - is how I would explain the value of cleanliness and the perks associated with it. Be it any place in the world, say for instance name your favorite destination to visit during holidays, now imagine the very place filled with garbage, with lack of sanitation and cleanliness - will you still be willing to go to the place anymore? The answer sure would be NO.

Our country is our home and yet we let the evil of uncleanliness prevail. It's been a matter of great importance especially in the last few months, since the launch of the campaign "swacch bharat" by the honorable Prime Minister of India, Mr.Narendra Modi. Let me share with you insights of my family on this topic.

Since swacch bharat has been launched, I've in fact seen my joint family discussing about how important it is to have the surroundings clean. My mother and father have started the new habit of keeping a polly-bag inside home and we've started to put all the empty chips packets/thermocol plates/wrappers, plastic spoons in it and throwing it in the garbage every other day - this way, our home remains clean and there's no garbage lying around here and there.

Before writing this post there were galore of ideas that were in my mind waiting to be popped out and I asked my father if he had something to share and he told me that "cleanliness is a problem that has been with us for years and it's time we learned something from our earlier generations too". I asked mt father to elaborate in detail as to what we can learn from our earlier generation in regard to cleanliness and he explained.

In my village Tamuria, whenever there's a celebration - people do "bhoj". Now, bhoj is basically inviting a lot of people to come and sit in an open field and eat with "kele kaa ptaa". This however might make you think - HEY, isn't that unhygienic? Well, it's NOT. Before every bhoj, the fields are properly cleaned, sprayed with father several times and only then is a bhoj arranged, of course this practice has been into affect since our earlier generations - and this teaches us that it's been since generations that we've been taught to clean our surroundings clean.

I would also like to share a story that my father told my from his childhood. You know, one day he saw his grandfather burning the garbage nearby the house and my father asked his grandfather "what are you doing"! My great grandfather replied "I'm burning the garbage because it gives us 2 benefits and these are - 1) the mosquitoes will run away because of the heavy smoke and 2) there will be no garbage around the house and the surrounding will be clean and moreover, the next day the garbage could easily be disposed.

Now, the above 2 examples teach us that it's been since years that cleanliness has motivated the way of life and keeping our environment clean is no less than science - there are so many ways, in fact dual-ways in which we can be benefited not just in 1 way but more..

Now, coming to the much larger issue - how can sanitation and hygiene help India at large.. Below are some very critical assessments of mine on the same :-

1) Padega India tabhi to badhega India - India is a country which faced a great dilemma today. It is sad to note that on one end, our country has gloriously spirited and successful woman like Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, Chanda Kochhar, Pratibha Patel, Sheila Dikshit - be it any field of life, Indian women have time and again proved their excellence but it's sad to note that in this very country of ours, there still remains a butterfly in it's cocoon waiting to come out and flourish to the fullest of the extend  i.e. the girl child in Indian villages, who do not get access to education for the very reason that schools in Indian villages still lack basic facilities like toilets and proper sanitation for girl students to feel free to gain education in a fitting environment.

2) Health is wealth : there's a famous saying that "padhoge likhoge banoga nawaab, khelo kudoge banoge kharaab" - but there's another side to this, what if a child is unhealthy! Unhealthy due to the surroundings not being clean and catching fevers like Dengue or Malaria.. How then will the country be able to utilize probably a gem of an individual who may add to a great extend to the human capital of the country. Without being healthy, one cannot achieve the greater aims of life and health comes from healthy surroundings, healthy environment to live in. Hence, it's all the more critical to live in an area where garbage is not disposed in open, where open defecation is not a issue - we MUST work on these drawbacks of our country to become the force of the world, a country that drives other countries to it for it's brilliance of combating issues and not over-siding it.

3) Establishing clean-water to drink all around India : how often have you been in your car and waiting for a shop to arrive for hours just so that you could buy filtered bottle of clean and sanitized water! I for one have surely waited minutes if not hours on busy roads for a bottle of clean water. But the fact is, I can afford this bottle of 1L at 20 rupees but not everyone in India can, the poor surely cannot. Therefore, isn't it the duty of the govt. to establish clean water taps throughout country which shall at least provide sanitized water to one and all. Till when can one still be pondered upon with issues that have bothered us for years! In sector 9, Rohini, if you ever go there - you will see water taps with clean and sanitized water coming from them have been established near the Lok Nayank and Metro apartment - these are not only used by the poor but also by the children who play in the nearby areas.

4) Make Sulabh Sauchalaya reach to villages : Sulabh Sauchalaya is an initiative which gave the women of this country some dignity and pride. Further, it helped in bringing down of the figures of open defecation which we all not is very unhealthy and unhygienic. This is the moment to make it accessible to every Indian village. Having a toilet is a basic necessity of life and it is absolutely mind-boggling to note the fact that a greater deal of Indian population has a mobile phone in their hands but NOT a toilet in their home - this easily explains why proper sanitation and cleanliness persists to be a problem for our country.

I'd just like to conclude this blog post on the note that a change can only be conquered if we're willing to work together and first realize the fact that YES - we've a problem to work on.

Clean environment, proper hygiene and sanitation is to my opinion a NECESSITY of life and hence to ensure a sound surrounding for us all - it's time we took the steps required.

#SwacchIndia will be behtar India.
#SwacchIndia will be a better India. :)

Aditya Jha Author

Aditya Jha is 20 years old and has had a passion for writing since a young age. He has had the great honor of being published in the book "blank space", which featured his fictional short story "a writer's tale". He has also published 2 ebooks - Best.Generation.Ever. and An Iron Lady (Autobiography on his grandmother's life). He has great passion for speaking and is a Delhi University Debator - having won various laurels for his speaking.

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