Working for a Cleaner India: Practical Advice

Swachha Bharat Abhiyan Campaign:
In India too, the focus on cleaning the environment has been set as a major goal for the future. The Swachha Bharat Abhiyan movement, translated to “Clean India Mission” has been introduced by the national government in an effort to help improve standards of sanitation and hygiene across major parts of the country. Starting from Rajghat in New Delhi, the campaign has spread around more than 4000 cities, in an effort to clean up India by the year 2019. The SBA movement as it is also known, has become India’s largest organized cleanliness drive with around 3 million people from all walks of life participating in it. This includes school and college students, government employees, and citizens who wish to tidy up their environment.

Another important part of this movement is the focus on sanitation, including the provision of toilets for people around the country. Reports from multiple health organizations have already established the dangers of open toilets, and we cannot look the other way on this issue any more. Millions of people are caught up in diseases, sometimes deadly, because of this issue. It is imperative to focus on improving sanitation standards, and if we start playing our individual roles in helping clean up society – like taking care of where our trash ends up, or constructing proper drainage systems – we can take long strides towards a healthier future for all our fellow citizens.

The Swachha Bharat Abhiyan movement has also helped with the creation of a Cleanliness Index, the first of its kind in India. The Ministry of Urban Development created this index in an effort to raise public awareness about major cities having a population of over 100,000 individuals. The criteria for measurement take into account the solid waste management system as well as the efforts for putting an end to open air toilets and educating the public about factors affecting sanitation. Furthermore, everyone from politicians to stock brokers to stars from the music and film industries have taken personal interest in the movement, and encouraged others to join Swachha Bharat Abhiyan as well. As one of the most highly mobilized cleanliness drives on the planet, Swachha Bharat Abhiyan promises to transform the environment in India.

Carrying on the Mission:
Besides cleaning up our community, we can get involved in the campaigns for home and office deep cleaning. When it comes to our homes, the kitchen is the most visited and highly used room in most Indian households. All of our daily meals are prepared here, and food is also stored in the vicinity. Furthermore, the kitchen is also visited by all family members before and after school or work; as well as any domestic help we may hire. This creates a high risk for bacterial infections. Therefore, it is important to tackle kitchen cleaning issues as well. In addition to disinfecting work surfaces, properly storing the food items, and regularly disposing of any trash, degreasing the stove and surrounding area also help promote cleanliness and tidiness.