swSWACHH BHARAT (CLEAN INDIA)-I hail PM Narendra Modi for launching his visionary mission Swachh Bharat Abhiyan(Clean India Mission) as part of his vision “Make in India“. He wants to convert India a global centre to invite the world to come and invest in India as the image of dirty India is a drag on investors to come to India.It is not a matter of pride for any Prime Minister of a country to start this kind of mission as it presupposes a unclean India….Read more of part-1

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It appears Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by PM Narendra Modi is picking up and gaining momentum all around. Even the President of India has joined the movement and came out with brooms in his native village as well as in Rashtrapati Bhavan. It was a good gesture on his part to support a noble cause to clean India. My society where I live also looks much cleaner. Some of the roads on which I travelled after the launch appeared much cleaner. Suffice to say that the mission has become a mission for the nation.

A celebrity, Sachin Tendulker also came out with his 9 friends to clean the road in Mumbai. Others might also be doing it. A picture of a Rly. Station was loaded on social media showing a clean approach to the station. It was heartening development.

But much more than this is required to be done to clean India. India is divided in rural and urban areas. Let us take the case of Urban Delhi. After 82 ASIAD and 2010 Commonwealth Games, Delhi’s roads have been widened and many Flyovers were added. Crores were spent on decorating the roads with flower pots etc. which disappeared on the close of the Games. Where have they gone? Of course, that is not my immediate concern at the moment. My concern is to analyse whether, these roads have been equipped with Public Convenience system. I travel 8 Km. everyday to reach Supreme Court either via ITO or Nizamuddin bridge. During rush hours it takes around 45″. There was no public convenience constructed on the road side. People ease themselves on the road side only. Can we find fault with the people alone or Authorities have also to share the blame? It appears some Public Conveniences have been constructed but they are located at such inconvenient places that cars can not be parked there to ease themselves. For the last one year I find all those toilets/urinals are lying closed. Still we expect people to keep the area clean. In market are there is no toilet/urinal located. Is it not the responsibilities for the Corporations to provide such places? My submissions are that Public Convenience must be opened at every market and on the roads which should be kept neat and clean by the authorities. The may charge some nominal fee but not providing such convenient places is criminal

Now let us take the case of Urban India. It is going to be stupendous task to keep rural India clean. We have 6000 villages where homes have no toilets or urinals. People go out to ease themselves in open. Most shameful is for women folks to ease themselves. The go out before the dawn or after the sunset. Is it easy to create toilets in every home? Greater problem is of availability of water & sewage system. Unless there is free flow of water and suitable sewage system, such toilets will become hell.

Most of the Schools do not have toilets or urinals in what to talk of separate toilets or urinals for girls. PM Narendra Modi rightly says that girls drop out from the school for lack of proper arrangements of toilets and urinals. Corporate sectors have started taking adopting schools for providing toilets in the schools at the request of PM Modi. It is a good gesture on their part but herculean task would be to provide free flowing water to those toilets. I only hope they provide water too. I also hope Govt.also make available 24×7 hrs. water to every household in rural areas.

Garbage collection in the urban areas is not going to be a big problem as many companies are coming forward to collect garbage and make profit out of it. But to keep drain-less towns,cities and rural areas are going to pose big problem in this mission.

PM must have taken into considerations all these difficulties and would have also thought of its solutions.I just wish him my best wishes for the success of this mission.Good Luck to PM.

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AK Srivastava

The author Sh. A.K. Srivastava (@aksrivastava232) is Senior Advocate in Supreme Court of India, New Delhi where he is practicing since last 40 yrs. He had been Advocate General of Govt. of Sikkim & was Hon.Secretary of Supreme Court Bar Association for two years( 1991-92,1992-93).
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One comment

  • Undoubtedly, Swachh Bharat mission is well intentioned. But, my fear is it may not sustain & reduce to a mere photo-op for VIPs. Take, for example, Sachin Tendulkar: his cricketing career is over & endorsement contracts have started dwindeling. I would not be surprised if SRT looks at this (being part of the Swachh Bharat mission) as an opportunity to revive his sagging endorsement career. Similarly, have we seen the likes of Kamal Hassan & Anil Ambani holding a broom? Most of the chosen 9 were seen giving encouraging soundbites on Oct 02. But, how many of them have actually devoted 2 hours/week that PM Modi demanded? It is also likely that some positive changes would be seen in Delhi & Mumbai. But, beyond these two metros, situation may not change ( I know, things haven’t changed at all in Modi’s own Ahmedabad). Sustaining this mission,therfore,with the same fervour shown on Oct 02 would be a bigger challange.