Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan (SBA) (Clean India Mission) is an ambitious National Cleanliness Campaign launched by the Government of India on 2nd Oct. 2014, aiming to achieve the vision of a ‘Clean India’ by 2nd October 2019. That is a period of 5 years out of which 3 years have passed.
A brainchild of PM Narendra Modi, the scale and magnitude of this program is a first in the history of the country and in the last 3 years since it was launched, it has caught the imagination of the people and mobilized them to work for a Clean India.
Through a clear, systematic and consistent promotion of the cleanliness concept through the various media and by roping in celebrities to appeal to the citizens of the country, the Swachh Bharat Mission has become a national movement for cleanliness, making citizens responsible participants and this was possible because the PM took an active lead in initiating the movement, actually picking up a broom himself to clean the Mandir, Marg Police Station and participating in Walkathons, exhorting people to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of a clean and hygienic India.
The main objectives of SBM as we are all aware is to achieve an ODF (Open Defecation Free) India by 2nd Oct 2019 by constructing individual/cluster/community toilets in rural and urban areas along with measures for solid waste management, creating awareness and responsibility among citizens regarding cleanliness in homes, schools, colleges, public places etc, through various activities like walkathons, runs, essay and poster competitions, etc.
To celebrate 3 years of SBM, government has invited everyone to participate in ‘Swachh Hi Seva’ campaign, focusing energies and resources on this goal.
Yashwant Mankhedkar District Youth Coordinator, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt of India
He gave some catchy slogans with which we all are familiar, and it led to people making many more educative and wonderful cleanliness related slogans.
- Swachh Bharat: Ek kadam, swachh ki ore;
- Na hum gandhgee karenge, na karne denge;
- Dharti mata kare pukar, aas pas ko karo sudhar;
- Swachhta hai maha abhiyaan, swachhta main dijiye apna yogdaan;
- Cleanliness from inside and outside, health automatically will reside both sides;
- Clean India, beautiful India;
- Don’t ever be mean to the ones who clean;
- Let’s make the right choice and use Dustbin;
- Keep our motherland clean, it keeps you healthy;
- Clean dust from your glass, clean dust from your class (for school/college students);
- Saaf suthra mera man, desh mera sundar ho, pyar faile sadko par, kachra dibbe ke andar ho:
Role of Youth in SBM:
Youth have a very major role to play in SBM and to enlist their participation it is very important to organize Orientation programs for Youth about cleanliness and its various implications, particularly in rural areas. In order to be role models and catalysts of change, youth should be informed and educated on the following topics.
Orientation should be given by government and private bodies dealing in:-
- Construction and management of low cost toilets, their management and maintenance.
- Solid waste management: principles and practices.
- Segregation of wet and dry waste : need and rationale.
- Water conservation.
- Health consequences of insanitation and health benefits of sanitation.
- Healthy habits for personal and environmental hygiene.
- Putting an end to littering, spitting and other filthy habits.
Let’s look at some of the ways in which youth can play a significant part in bringing about change”:
- Youth are familiar about culture and habits of people in their communities, so they can be good as mediators for change
- Youth groups and youth clubs should be encouraged to come up with effective communication media, such as, street plays, dramas etc to inculcate the value of cleanliness and personal hygiene
- Encourage youth to self -analyse and identify certain habits which are unhygienic and make necessary changes.
- Organize various activities for students, youth, children, adults, in fact people of every age group to spread the idea of cleanliness and encourage people to think of ways to incorporate clean habits and lifestyles.
- Apply appropriate and innovative technologies and develop indigenous schemes to practice cleanliness in community.
- Educate young women in menstrual hygiene and consequences of not maintaining hygiene during menstruations.
- Link cleanliness to beauty
- More think tank sessions on how to further the concept of cleanliness and integrate it in their lives.
NYKS Initiatives in the field of Swachhata Mission:
Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan is an autonomous department under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, working for the youth empowerment nationwide. Since its inception, it has been actively working for non-student, marginalized youth from rural areas through village based voluntary youth organizations. NYKS has offices in 625 districts, over 4 lakh youth clubs affiliated are affiliated with NYKS and over 20000 National Youth Volunteers who have undergone training by NYKS. Thus, NYKS has a wide network of youth and youth clubs who are beneficiaries of various training programmes, ranging from vocational training and skill upgradation to training in youth leadership, self and community development.
The subject of cleanliness has always been a part of syllabus/content of NYKS training programmes not only in theory but also in practice. Youth are involved in cleanliness drives (shramdan) inside the classrooms and surrounding areas. Since 2014, NYKS has been actively engaging youth in cleanliness related programmes (as mentioned above) motivating them to start innovative activities and projects for their community and village development.
Two Live Examples of Swachh related Work done by Village Youths
1. Jai Bhavani Nehru Yuva Mandal, Parte Vihar Tal- Jawali, Dist – Satara
Yadwant Madgaonkar, District Youth Coordinator (DYC) NYK oriented this mandal about possible activities that could be conducted in their village related to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in the month of April. After a series of meetings, the youth came up with several ideas and initiated various activities in their village, as follows:
- Setting up a system for garbage disposal and waste management
- Educating villagers about segregation of wet and dry waste. Carts for waste disposal prepared by the youth themselves
- Preparing pits for wet and dry waste and using them
- Cleaning nallas and covering them with tiles to avoid water stagnation and insect infestation.
- Burning of dry grasses
- Involving village men and women in cleanliness drive of village.
This model is an example of Self Sustainable Development, where all the activities were initiated and carried out by youth with the involvement of villagers.
2. Samruddhi Yuva Manch, Varkute, Tal- Indrapur, District – Pune
This village located around 100 km from Pune is witnessing positive changes as a result of work done by the above mandal. This area has been experiencing drought frequently. In April 2006, Tashwant Mandhekar, DYC, NYKS organized TYLCD (Training in Youth Leadership and Community Development) in this village. A seminar on water conservation was conducted. Seeing their interest in the subject, DYC organized a visit to national Water Commission at Pune. Encouraged by the experience that they received, youth members of the above mandal, led by Tushar Shinde with help of Relief Fund, obtained necessary machinery and dug up a 5 km deep canal for water conservation.
As a result, when the rains came, a lot of water was stored and the water table increased. With the help of the water facility, they could grow plantation trees in a massive way and their annual income registered an increase from 1 lac to 10 lacs.
Looking at their dramatic achievement, NYK Pune under the Chairmanship of Dist. Collector Shri Saurabh Rao, gave a citation and cash reward of Rs 25000/-. In the month of January 2017, Executive Director Shri Veerendra mehra, visited Varkute and interacted with the members of the Samruddhi Yuva Manch. He was impressed by their story of sustainable development and appreciated their efforts.
Energy potential and talents of youth, if channelized for reconstruction, creation of innovative ideas and finding solution for practical problems, youth can do wonders, as we have seen in the above examples. This work can be replicated in various villages and the Mission of PM Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi and the visionaries of this nation on cleanliness will be accomplished.
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