Mangaluru: Ramakrishna Mission held a press meet at the Mission Premises, Mangaladevi here on February 10.
addressing the mediapersons Capt Ganesh Karnik said, “Prime Minister Modi initiated the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan on October 2 and gave a call to all the citizens to effectively join hands in the Abhiyanand make India garbage free. He also nominated several eminent personalities and NGOs to lead the movement. He pledged to clean India by October 2019 when the nation will be observing the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhiji as a mark of respect for the Father of the Nation. Indeed, the movement spread like wild fire thanks to the zeal of thousands of people. But the enthusiasm was short lived and the drive lost its effectiveness due to apathy from the Government machinery and monitoring agencies.
Speaking to the mediapersons Swami Jitakamanandaji said, “Indeed such a movement as this can succeed only if public join their hands without waiting for the Government Machinery to function. To involve more and more people in the drive, the Central Government requested several NGOs and institutions to actively take part and urged its followers and well- wishers to join their hands.Mangaluru Ramakrishna Mission too got a special request from the Central Government to join in the Abhiyan. Our Ashram took some time to plan its module to bring in effectiveness”.
The Ashram launched the Swacch Mangaluru for Swacch Bharat Abhiyan on February 1, 2015 as a novel initiative of 40 weeks involving thousands of volunteers and public and taking up the drive in different parts of the city. Thanks to the continued support and zeal of thousands of our dedicated volunteers, students, youth and devotees, the Ashram has successfully completed 39 drives in different parts of the city.
This Abhiyan concentrated more on creating awareness among the public about cleanliness than just sweeping the city clean. Along with the cleaning task, the Abhiyan also undertook some minor civil works benefiting the general public, like relaying the interlocks on footpaths, minor repair of roads, bus shelters, painting direction boards etc. Volunteers also distributed awareness literature to thousands of households in the locality.
There are several interesting significant points in the Abhiyan. First, people, irrespective of caste, creed and religion joined in the Abhiyan under the aegis of Ramakrsihna Mission and contributed their mite thus proving that this noble mission is beyond limiting barriers thus unifying and integrating people. Second, as the PM called upon the kids to be the ambassadors of this Abhiyan, several kids were regular in our cleanliness drives. Third, Monks and Brahmacharis used to clean the roads and footpaths taking brooms thus motivating the lay men. Swacch Mangaluru thus created a unique module which is being replicated at several places and by several institutions.
Hundreds of people have started asking about the future of Swacch Mangaluru Abhiyan. As it was initiated as a 40 weeks programme and it is shortly entering the 40th week, they are eager to see that it does not end here. Hence the Ashram is planning to initiate the 2nd phase from October 2016. In the second phase. about 40 groups in different parts of the city will undertake 400 Abhiyans over a period of one year. The blue print will be ready shortly.
Swamiji also said, “Ramakrishna Mission alone cannot clean the city but the people should join hands with us. To make Mangaluru clean we need to clean our minds first. India is a holy land and cleaning the city means we are offering Puja to God. It is not possible to bring changes among the people in a short time, it needs time but we can bring awareness among the people by involving the public in the Swacch Mangaluru Abhiyan. Creating awareness in the minds of people is very much Important,” he added.
Swamiji further said that the unstinted support and cooperation of thousands of our dedicated volunteers Swacch Mangaluru Abhiyan would not have come this far. Hence it is bounden duty of our Ashram to offer our heartfelt thanks to them. Hence we are organizing a special programme for this purpose on February 14. Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu will be the chief guest.
On that day the 40th Swacchata Abhiyan will take place near Mangaladevi Temple at 7:30 am. The thanks giving ceremony will commence at 9:30 am. President of Ramakrishna Math Pune Swami Srikantanandaji will preside over the function. Chancellor of Nitte University N Vinay Hegde, CaptGanesh Karnik, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, MLA J R Lobo will be the guests. Managing director ofMRPL H Kumar and GGM MRPL K Lakshminarayana will be the guests of honour.
Swamiji Atmapura Chaitanya delivered the vote of thanks. Dr Satish Rao, Vasudeva M R, Suresh Shetty, Harish, Sadashiv Kamath and Umanath were also present.