Is 'Clean India' Going to be a Reality?

Tuesday, 26 January 2021



Is 'Clean India' Going to be a Reality?

Sidharth Bedi Varma | January 18, 2020 14:59 hrs

The world has become hyper sensitive towards earth’s climate change. Pollution, global warming, waste and garbage management have all become topics of intense discussion. While no concrete action has really been taken, engagements around these topics can be seen.

Movements like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Clean India and plastic ban have not really seen desired results; this is because our literate youth is still uneducated.

Despite such massive campaigns, why is cleanliness a problem in India?

Well for starters, there has been an initiative to amp up cleanliness practices in the country, but it has not led to anything. The irony is that the people who are a part of the campaign – volunteers, designers, executives and other government POCs are the ones throwing the packet of chips or that wrapper of chewing gum from their cars. There is also a narrative that everyone is concerned about the planet we’re leaving for our kids, but then again, no one cares about the kids we’re leaving for the planet. This young India is the one that needs attention but this clearly is not happening with the government campaigns.

Well, the maximum attention goes to going to anything that comes with a penalty. Now enforcement of anti-littering law needs to strengthen. Imagine how creative people have gotten to save themselves from paying taxes. The moment people start having to pay for that “inadvertent toss” of a polythene bag on the side of the road, they will start carrying their own “kapde ka bag”, or keep that small wrapper in their pockets until they find a dustbin. After all, that’s what they do when they travel to Singapore.

And this reinforcement has to start younger, not in a patronizing tone that our textbooks typically do, but stronger and with a sense of purpose.

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