“Is cleaning only the responsibility of the karamcharis? Do citizens of India have no role in this? We have to change this mindset. We reached Mars. No PM or Minister went. It was the people who did it, our scientists who did it. So can’t we create a Clean India?. If this is evaluated by a photo-opportunity, then we would be doing a disservice to the nation. We all must come together and do this (clean India) wherever we are. This is not about Modi… Modi is only one of its 1.2 billion people… This is a people’s task. India can do it. People of India can do it.” – PM Narendra Modi
Mangaluru: If you are driving/riding/walking down some of the spots in the city, to name a few, Bendore-well Road, Kadri Market area, Malikatte-Kadri Temple, Kankanady-Pumpwell, Valencia, Nandigudda, Nanthoor and few others, and wondering why these areas look much cleaner than they were yesterday or this morning – that’s because over 500 Final year students of St Agnes, along with members of JCI-Mangaluru and Padi-ChildLine Organization in collaboration with Mangaluru City Corporation, had joined hands together in cleaning the garbage and all that litter that was scattered throughout these areas – as part of St Agnes College project “Agnes Towards Community” in support of the campaign “Swachh Bharath” launched by PM Narendra Modi.
Now that these damsels of St Agnes and volunteers have cleaned the mess created the residents/citizens in these areas, they want to convey a clear message that ” Today we cleaned the mess/garbage that you created, but from tomorrow onwards clean your own mess or the best thing is see that you don’t make a mess. Use your common sense not to litter the streets or any other surrounding places that you live or move around. Only through your co-operation and support we can have a clean City and Clean India. Let us all look forward for cleaner Mangaluru and Swachh Bharath”. Citizens walking or traveling on this road stretches should thank and compliment these young ladies of SAC and other volunteers for doing a great community service in trying to keep “Mangaluru Clean” under the “Swachh Bharath Abhiyan” project.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi while launching his nationwide cleanliness campaign, the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ or ‘Clean India Campaign’ on 2 October 2014 (Gandhi Jayanthi Day) had asked India’s 1.25 billion people to join the ‘SwachhBharatMission’ and promote it to everyone. Addressing the nation Modi had said,” “We have gained freedom under leadership of Gandhiji, but his dream of clean India is still unfulfilled. Swachh Bharat Campaign logo is not just a logo, through it Gandhiji’s watching us and we all should clean India. Be it temples, mosques, gurudwaras or any place, we must take efforts to clean our surroundings. Swachh Bharat mission is beyond politics. It is inspired by patriotism and not politics. The work is to be done by all Indians. This campaign is for 1.2 billion people and I repeat it 1.2 billion times. This work is not only about a ‘prachar abhiyan’. It is a big effort but we have a lot of time.” Taking Modi’s speech seriously many organizations, education institutions, corporate offices/businesses etc etc have taken up the task to see that their surroundings are clean- and for that matter now, Taj Group of Hotels across the nation have also taken up the initiative in keeping India Clean, and their surrounding areas clean.
“Agnes Towards Community” as part of “Swachh Bharath Abhiyan” was inaugurated this morning at 11.45am by Sr Supriya AC-Principal of St Agnes College and by Mahabala Marla-the Mayor of Mangaluru. Sr Supriya inaugurating the project and handing over the hand-gloves to the volunteers said ” I am glad to note that the Final Year students of our college have come up with this initiative to keep the surrounding of the city clean. By doing this we can keep our City clean, and also raise an awareness for others to keep the city clean. We should all know that cleanliness is next to Godliness. We should all respect and take PM Modi’s initiative and ideas to make India a cleaner country by 2019 very serious, by taking an oath that we would not litter and see that other won’t litter either. That way we can keep our surroundings, our city, state and nation clean. Yes we can do it, if we try hard”.
Mayor Marla addressing the gathering said, “I am overwhelmed to see that these young students have come forward to keep their surrounding area clean, and I feel proud of them for their dedication and commitment in trying to keep Mangaluru clean. Let us join hands together, together with Mangalore City Corporation in keeping our surroundings clean and this beautiful coastal city clean. If we all put our efforts and aim for a clean city-Mangalore and India we can do it without any difficulties. Determination and interest is all that is needed to make PMs project a success. Thank you for your support in this Clean Drive campaign”. Other members of JCI spoke, also including Renny D’Souza- Child Rights activist and director, PADI, a nongovernmental organisation that runs the helpline in Mangalore and complimented the efforts and interest of these volunteers towards this campaign.
I compliment and thank these young ladies of St Agnes and their lecturers, including the AC Sisters of St Agnes convent for their commitment towards this “Clean Drive” project. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan could be successful as an event in increasing public awareness of the importance of sanitation and cleanliness. But if PM Modi was hoping for mass participation in a cleanliness drive that would keep India perpetually clean, public policy must go far beyond symbolism. In conclusion, I want to say is that- “True, without the cooperation of citizens, it would be impossible for any government or civic body to ensure clean streets and public places. But this is not the same as requiring everyone in the workforce/schools/colleges/religious institutions to engage in actual cleaning. Efforts must be made to de-stigmatise the act of cleaning, and the participation of citizens in large numbers in a mass cleaning exercise, even if as a one-off or annual event, will have a positive effect”.
“The government may not be able to do everything, but voluntarism cannot be a substitute for strengthening civic infrastructure. For ensuring cleanliness and hygiene and improving solid waste management, city’s civic bodies will need to be at the centre of the Clean India Campaign or MCC should be at the Clean Mangaluru Campaign. We can do it if we make strong decisions/plans. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will have to be a sustainable programme, and its success ought not to depend on the hours each citizen puts in to sweep streets. A lot can be done to further the ideal of cleanliness without wielding the broom. Citizens should use their common sense not to litter wherever they feel like”..
Kudos to the Chandra Mohan- HoD of Political Science,SAC, Asha D- Lecturer, SAC and project co-ordinator, all the Sisters and Final year students of SAC, Board members of JCI and PADI, for their selfless service towards this “Swachh Bharath Abhiyan”. “Agnes Towards Community” can surely make a difference through its involvement, dedication and commitment. Let’s us hope for a better and cleaner India, as well as ” Better Mangaluru”!.