The “Clean India Mission” is an enormous nationwide campaign that aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, towns, and rural areas. Since it began in 2014, people have become more aware of the need to keep the streets and other places clean. The campaign has caught on like wildfire. The fire is going to burn until India solves underlying issues involved in cleanliness and human sanitation.
Sanitation, one of many serious health concerns for India
One example of the many problems this campaign seeks to correct concerns India’s toilets. In 2018, this mission went full speed ahead as most villages finally received toilets and running water in their homes. All the communities have focused on getting toilets. Many villagers did not own personal toilets until recently. They had to travel to farms before sunrise with a mug of water to do their business.
Women especially faced problems because it was dangerous for their health. In the dark farms, disease carrying insects would terrorize women. Evil minds even took advantage of the dark – rape cases increased. Women had to control their motions till the dark so that they can go to farms and do — their work. The elderly villagers believed that having a toilet in the house would be bad as it would be dirty. But because of the Clean India Mission, people learned about having restrooms in the home. It is a basic need that cannot be avoided since unsanitary bathrooms in farms can cause disease. So this step of cleaning was a significant step for India.
A volunteer steps up to clean the beach
But bathrooms are not the only place that needs fixing. Volunteers pitch in for all sorts of projects. The beach is a place many visit to live in the moment. Maintaining the cleanliness of this beautiful place is a must. I walked on the streets of Chennai and met a man named Dungar Chand Lal Want. He is a businessman and operates a store in Ch ennui, Tam il Nadu. He looked to be a young old man, with a white beard, yet still active in his grays. His personality was like that of India’s leading star Amitabh Bachchan. He was tall , with broad shoulders. He had the charm of a prominent businessman and was very presentable even in his tracksuit.
He was picking up plastic trash and dumping it in a bin. I thought it was just a man doing his trade. But no. As I continued watching, I found he was cleaning all the trash from the sand and making sure it ended up in the dumpster. I approached him, and he stated, “It’s my city, and I will clean it.”
I explained to him that I was from the Komorebi Post and wanted to know why he was dumping all the garbage in the bin. I was keen to understand why, while most people were chilling, he was doing something this awesome in the morning. His voice was deep. He said:
“Hi, actually I am just like all the ordinary people around. Yes, you guessed it right. I am a businessman, and I have my store in the Sowcarpet area, Chennai Tamil Nadu. I am in my 50s, and I have been working on cleaning the beach since my 30s. In these 15 years of work, I have learned a lot about the beauty that we humans have destructed.”
“When in 2014 swatch Nirman mission [Clean India Mission] was started I felt it was a significant step. And this will make our country the best one day. We do go to other places to see the beauty, and here back home we don’t keep our state beautiful, so this is what I aim at. I want that. At least when I pick garbage from the road, I do see little kids running and helping me around. And the teens at least throwing their packets in the trash instead of on the street.”
“It’s the end of 2018 a new year is coming. I wish that one year we all can sit pleasantly on the beach and not find plastic around. And I don’t have any deep reason. It’s that I see everyone planning trips abroad. And when they visit India they say there is nothing. This is sad, and I want to change it because I feel India is a great place to travel and it’s a beautiful place for sure.”
This story of the third man is an inspiration because he is doing something for his country without any personal reason. It makes India proud to have such citizens.
Every human needs to understand that it is our land and keeping it clean is our duty. Just sit and think how the world was and how we made it. We have adjusted the environment on our needs and forgot it is a natural thing. The Clean India Mission will run through the new year.