Mangaluru: The “Amala Bharatham Campaign “started in 2011 here, and since then every fourth Sunday of the Month has been observed as Clean Sunday- Clean India” by the members of Mata Amritanandamayi Math, located on Sulthan Bathery Road-Boloor. Already completed 50, the 51st Amala Bharathma Campaign (ABC)” was launched today, Sunday 28 June 2015 at the Math premises at 10 am.
The programme began by invoking God’s blessings through a prayer song rendered by the girl students of the math school. Shruthi welcomed the gathering and introduced the guests, while Dr Jeevaraj Sorake, briefed the audience about ABC and its journey through the last five years. The 51st Amala Bharatham Campaign was inaugurated by lighting the lamp by the Guru of Sri Ramakrishna Mission-Swamiji Jithakamanandaji, along with State Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake, Dr Jeevaraj Sorake-President of Amala Bharatham Campaign, Shruthi Hegde- President of Mata Amrithanandamayi Math, Srinivas Shettigar- Co-ordinator of ABC, and Manjunath Revanker-secretary of the Math.
Five persons who had contributed a lot to the ABC were felicitated-they are Krishnappa-Environmentalist, NG Mohan- Commissioner, DK Scouts and Girls Guide, Madhava Suvarna- Executive member, Rotary Club of Mangaluru, Vinitha Rai- District NSS Co-ordinator, and Geetha Balachandran- Volunteer at the Math. All the five were felicitated with a shawl, fruit basket, flower bouquet, and a memento by the Swamiji and Minister Sorake.
Addressing the gathering, Minister Sorake said, “Mahatma Gandhi gave us the message quit India, clean India. Bapu’s dream of a clean India is still unfulfilled.
Swachh Bharat campaign (Clean India) logo is not just a logo. It is as if Gandhiji is watching us, asking as when will we clean India. I would like to congratulate the members of the Math, and also all those who worked for this project. They must have been in different forms and with different names but the initiative was to ensure a clean India. Is cleaning just the job of a sweeper? Is it not our duty too? Do citizens have no role in this? We have to change this mindset. This is a very difficult mission, but by 2019 we should accomplish it. It will be a tribute to Gandhiji on his 150th birth anniversary. This work is the responsibility of the people of India. It is not the work of ministers or NGOs alone, but of the common man.”
He further said, “The Smart City Scheme launched by PM Modi is a good project. Smart city is a concept at its nascent stage in India, however receiving a lot of attention in the recent times. Several Indian cities have already begun deploying a few smart technologies to efficiently provide civic services. Cities such as Hyderabad, Surat, Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai have launched initiatives related to the deployment of advanced communications systems, metro rail systems, traffic management systems, smart meters, GPRS for solid waste management, GIS to manage property tax, online water quality monitoring, online building plan approval schemes, etc. At the same time, several new smart cities – Kochi Smart City, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City and Lavasa – are already being developed as model cities through private sector participation. With the support and cooperation by the citizens of Mangaluru, this beautiful coastal and education hub can surely attain that status. Best of luck”.
Swamiji addressing the audience said, “Although Ramakrishna Mission has launched their 40 weeks of “Swachh Bharath campaign” this initiative taken by the Math is a very good idea to see that India/Mangaluru is clean. We need to educate the kids first on Clean India, so that they can spread the message to their parents, and then they can together work for a Clean India/Clean Mangaluru. It is nice to note that Mangaluru is forward in Education, but one thing lacking here is the neglect towards Malaria and Dengue-we need to concentrate more on this issue, so that no one gets infected with the diseases or lose their lives.”
Swamiji further said, “If people in foreign countries can keep their countries/cities clean, I think India can do it, the people of India can do it. If this Clean India Campaign is politicized or seen as a photo-op then we will not be doing justice to this mission. I am sure we will all come together and fulfill this mission. Gandhi didn’t clean every village, but his commitment inspired millions to take up the task. we need to trust the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi. The enthusiasm I am seeing on my social media pages for this campaign is heartening. We should pledge today to make it a clean India – ‘I will not litter or allow anyone to litter’. When we go abroad we see how clean those countries are, we don’t see them spitting around or throwing waste anywhere they wish to. Those places are clean because that is their dedication to cleanliness. Let’s also follow in the footsteps of the people abroad, and take a oath that we will keep India and Mangaluru Clean”.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Rtn Manjunath Revanker, and the entire programme was professionally compered by Dr Devadas. Prior to the formal programme, the members of the Math, along with hundreds of Math school children, and volunteers from other organizations got involved in cleaning the surrounding vicinity of the Math, which started at 7 am in the morning – braving the rain the volunteers did clean the area to the best of their abilities.
About Amala Bharatham Campaign:
It is a campaign aimed at cleaning India’s public places and national highways. Through this cleanliness drive, MAM hopes to raise social awareness of humanity’s debt to our beautiful earth and nature. Amma launched this project on her 57th Birthday celebrations on 27th Sep 2010. Amma said that the MAM is ready to take up the responsibility of constructing toilets and installing trash cans in government schools and along roads all over India if it has the support and co-operation of state governments and other organizations.
Amma asks that all of us take a vow to clean our surroundings. Amma believes that if the people, government and other organizations work together, this sacred endeavour will certainly bear fruit. The project was first planned in Kerala and then moved on to other states of India. The aims of Amala Bharatam Campaign – To embrace new practical initiatives to clean India, promote health through hygiene, sort garbage, and properly dispose of waste; and To make people more aware of the need to maintain environmental cleanliness.
Maintaining cleanliness and thus safeguarding health are, as far as every Indian is concerned, a duty to our motherland; necessary for a harmonious relation between humanity and nature; and an unavoidable obligation to the coming generation. As far as every human being is concerned, it is his or her personal dharma or duty. Through its large-scale efforts at environmental cleanliness and social hygiene, the MAM aims to bring about a clean India.
Amma said she wanted devotees to form committees to take responsibility for cleaning their locality, approximately one committee for every two kilometres. “A chain of such committees could really bring about a massive transformation,” she said. “These committees should ensure their localities have trash cans in various places as well as signs telling people not to throw trash on the roadside or to spit. The waste should be collected regularly and properly disposed of.” Amma also said she would like to provide one million reusable handkerchiefs to school children, requesting them to use these for spitting. She said that in this way many diseases could be prevented from spreading.”
What Amma says, “It is said that India is growing, that it is developing. However, in matters of environmental cleanliness and hygiene, we are lagging behind by centuries. The lack of cleanliness in our roads and public bathrooms and toilets is proof of this. India is an atomic power. India is scientifically and economically advancing. Many reports say India is poised to be the third largest power in the world by 2025. But in terms of cleanliness, we still are in diapers. Western countries maintain high standards of cleanliness on roads, in public places as well as in public bathrooms and toilets. In contrast, the standard of cleanliness in roads and public toilets in India is appalling. It has become a habit for people to urinate by roadsides and to spit on public roads and pavements. Even if there are trash cans present, they are not in the habit of disposing litter and food waste in these bins; they discard them by the side of the road or even in the middle of the road.”
“Environmental cleanliness and hygiene are a part of development and cultural refinement. For this to happen, we need to plan widespread awareness campaigns. We should mount enough signboards on environmental cleanliness in public places, bus stands and roadsides. Our lack of cleanliness should never again become a cause for international embarrassment. We should consider the task of keeping our homes, environment and public places clean a sacred duty. Just as we eat and sleep, keeping our environment clean should become part of our daily lives. Just as we bathe daily in order to keep our bodies clean, and just as we use perfumes, we should ensure that we maintain the cleanliness of our roads and public places, which are parts of our country’s body. Tourists see of our motherland when they go out as a filthy country. Actually, they have come to see beautiful India, but we don’t realize this. Today, our beautiful India has become like a leprosy-stricken person. We should first strive to restore the purity, beauty and health of this mother.” said Amma.