Mangaluru: Sunday, being a lazy-day while most of the people were still on their bed relieving themselves after a week-long hectic work days at their respective work-places, but members of Ramakrishna Mission along with volunteers from other organizations had got up early and started the clean-up work near Bunts Hostel circle area, as part of the 40 weeks Cleanliness Drive being undertaken by the Ramakrishna Mission (Ashram), which was initiated on the 1st February 2015.
Their campaign has been going on in full swing, with many volunteers from Schools/colleges/organizations coming forward to take part in this unique project in order to make Mangaluru a cleaner city, under the campaign “Swachh Bharath” launched by PM Modi. Under this mission organized by the Ashram, the student volunteers and other adult volunteers will assemble in the Ashrama on every Saturday evenings for an evening retreat, “Swacch Manas” where they are taught meditation, bhajans and inculcation of values of social responsibility.
Since the launch of this project, Ramakrishna Mission carried out “Swacch Mangaluru for Swacch Bharath” – cleanliness drive on 19th consecutive Sunday on the 7th June at Bunts Hostel Circle here. The drive was inaugurated by SrimaT Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj, senior trustee, Ramakrishna Math Belur math and Adhyaksha, Ramakrishna Math, Chennai in the presence of Swami Atmajnanandaji, Swami Amurtanandaji, Swami Purnakamanandaji and several monks of Ramakrishna Math. M R Vasudeva, Capt. Ganesh Karnik, Sri Madan, SI-Bunder, along with several other eminent persons joined in this project.
Braving the morning showers, employees of two daily newspapers, members of Yuva Brigade, BJP Mahila Morcha, other devotees, volunteers and well-wishers of the Ashrama took an active part in the drive. The volunteers cleaned the drain in the area and removed tons of garbage accumulated thus preventing a possible deluge in that area during the rainy season. Sand scattered on the street which was posing a major threat to vehicles resulting in minor accidents was cleared thus giving way to easy movement of vehicles. The footpath which had developed cracks and holes due to unscientific laying was another nuisance to daily commuters in the area. It has been reported that children were getting their foot stuck in them and falling- so the volunteers covered the openings/holes with cement.
The bus shelter in the area which had not seen maintenance since its erection was renovated and painted thus giving a facelift. The railing outside which was in the brink of falling was relocated and painted. The plot inside Bunts Hostel Circle was also cleaned and synthetic grass was laid thus adding to the beauty of the circle. Handbills on awareness were distributed by our volunteers among the public in the locality. MRPL, principal patron sponsored this week’s initiative.
They may belong to two different political parties, but Capt Ganesh Karnik of BJP and MR Vasudeva of AAP were seen busy engaged in the clean-up. Speaking to mangalorean.com they said , “It is a very good initiative taken by Ramakrishna Mission with a strong motto to see that Mangaluru is kept clean under PM Modi’s “Swachh Bharath Abhiyan”. This is a people’s task. India can do it. People of India can do it, including Mangaloreans. Yes, volunteers under the guidance of Ramakrishna Mission are doing a great job of cleaning, but it’s also the responsibility of the general public to see that they don’t litter the place again which has been cleaned with dedication and community service by these volunteers. we both are glad to be part of this campaign”.
Now if the streets are dirty again, there are reasons, one of them there aren’t enough garbage bins to throw garbage, and worse, no public toilets, and then you are forced to dirty up the place, it could be citizens mistake, and in the same time, government’s too for not providing better facilities. We need more than some media campaign, we need some real groundwork being done from government. You want me to not litter, well then provide me garbage bins, you don’t want me to pee on the roadside, well have public toilets installed etc etc. Well, while Ramakrishna Mission volunteers and rest of the citizens are trying to keep city clean, the government should also cooperate in providing enough dustbins/garbage bins and also enough toilets. The govt officials should also join hands with the volunteers and note how the Swacch Bharath campaign is progressing.
Let’s learn something about Ramakrishna Mission and it’s Swachh Bharath Campaign:
Ramakrishna Mission, Mangalore is a branch of the worldwide organization, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrsihna Missionstarted by Swami Vivekananda, a century ago. Since its inception in Mangalore more than six decades back, the Ashramahas initiated several welfare activities for the benefit of the needy. Their main focus has been instilling values in youths, students, teachers, professionals and corporates. All their programmes have received compliments and praises to the quality, content and commitment of their institution for the ideal it represents.
What is Swacch Mangaluru for Swacch Bharath?
On special request from Govt. of India and suggestion from our Headquarters, Mangalore Ramakrishna Mission has taken up “Swacch Bharath Abhiyan” in Mangalore city. They launched “Swacch Mangaluru for Swacch Bharath” programme which was inaugurated on the 1st February 2015 at a grand function attended by about 1500 youths, general public and several eminent men of repute. They also honored about 75 sweepers and other workers of City Corporation as a token of respect for their services in keeping the city clean.
Why only Ramakrishna Mission?
Cleaning the nation is not a day’s job. Neither can this be achieved by just govt agencies. It demands participation from each and every responsible citizen. Ramakrishna Mission has always stood in the forefront in the service of the society. They seize this opportunity to serve the nation through leading from the front by taking up this cleanliness drive. Coupled with their concern is the special request from Govt. of India.
How? – The Action Plan
In a nutshell, the Abhiyan involves about 4000 youths and volunteers cleaning the city and improving basic amenities under the aegis of Ramakrishna Mission for 40 consecutive Sundays. They have already completed 5 successful drives in different localities which have been listed elsewhere. In addition, they are also conducting “Swachh Manas for Swachh Bharath” – an evening with their young volunteers who join their hands in the cleanliness drive. As they assemble in the Ashrama on Saturdays, they will be taught meditation, briefed about our activities, the need for this programme, creating an awareness among them regarding their social responsibilities and inculcating values among them through interaction, discourse and bhajans etc. They are also provided food, tea, snacks and accommodation.
What is the Drive about?
This Initiative includes: Cleaning roads and public places; Awareness programme through distribution of literature (about 1500 persons every week); Urgent & minor road repairs; Clearance of drainage and garbage; Renovation of dilapidated and neglected bus shelters; Painting and beautification of compound wall; Clearing non-usable dumping places for public utility; Developing gardens and planting saplings at road medians; Adopting a few roads; Planting saplings on roadsides; and Cleaning and painting in the govt. school premises.
When do they have the Drive?
Volunteers assemble in the Ashrama on every Saturday evenings for an evening retreat. On Sunday for about three hours in the morning the drive is being carried out by the volunteers. Volunteers shall be having this drive for 40 weeks. This cleanliness Drive will be held in 2015-16 in the first phase. The main prop of their programme has been the dedication and commitment of youth volunteers and students from different institutions in and around Mangaluru. Added to their dynamism is the devoted service and zeal of our devotees – well-wishers and friends who have continually supported the Ashram. Govt. officials and agencies have also lent all the possible help in this programme.
To review the past few programmes and to present before their supporters and well-wishers Ramakrishna Mission is bringing out a pictorial booklet which portrays the progress that they have made in the past five weeks, the challenges that were ahead of them and how they melted before the zealous dedication and commitment of their volunteers. Each picture will speak in volumes. They hope the booklet will motivate youngsters and well-wishers to join their programme in hundreds and contribute their mite in the nation building process. With nineteen weeks already passed of Swachh Mangaluru for Swachh Bharath Programme and twenty one weeks’ drive still ahead, the organizers hope, by the grace of the Almighty and with the support of generous public and youth they will complete this herculean task and ensure a better tomorrow for the future generations.
If anyone is interested in joining this “Swachh Mangaluru for Swachh Bharath” programme undertaken by Ramakrishna Mission can call 0824-2414412 or 9448353162