Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Clean India...still a very distant dream.

It is almost 10 months since 'Swachh Bharat abhiyan' (clean India movement) was announced by Indian prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi aamong lot of fan fair and media coverage. I visited India in October 2014 immediately after announcement of this ambitious project by PM, previous governments also tried similar projects but with very limited success. I loved this idea because I also think that India need to take this type of movement very seriously. Clean surroundings are one of the basic things which any country aspiring to be super power or even a dominant global force should try to achieve as fast as possible. This is my second India visit after announcement of this program but I fail to see any appreciable difference. Now before any Modi bhakts attack me for being unfair in criticizing central government without giving them sufficient time to implement this idea let me clarify that I didn't expect to see clean and shining India during this visit which is within first year of announcement of this scheme. I understand that this is not that easy and will take some time and effort but I am talking about 'some noticeable difference' like trash cans on road sides or more number of toilets, etc. I visited PM's own constituency Varanasi this time also, while in past few years there is lot of good work done in this city by a IAS officer called Pranjal Yadav, who is now transferred to some different post by state government, I failed to see any noticeable difference this time. I really felt bad that state govt transferred this efficient officer without allowing him to transform this city with help of very capable and powerful MP who happens to be Indian prime minister, but this is part of politics which happens when state and center have different party governments. I should also mention that I didn't travel to Ganga ghats this time because of lot of crowd and traffic congestion so I don't know what is the situation over there. This is month of 'Shravan' by Hindu calendar, many festivals come during this month and lot of devotees gather in these so called holy cities which put lot of strain on its infrastructure. Very few cities are equipped to handle such huge inflow of humans and vehicles. Very often their infrastructure crumbles and there is lot of inconvenience caused to residents, regular commuters and other visitors. I experienced this personally this time, I was shocked to see that entire half of major highway like GT road was reserved for 'kawarias' (people who walk from Allahabad to Varanasi barefoot carrying Ganga water on their shoulders). Let me tell you that GT road is not some ordinary road but it is a national highway (interstate) and the only major road connecting these two major cities, so now for this entire month on this interstate high way both ways have to use one side that too without any divider, one can only imagine the risk factor of travelling on these type of roads. I saw some damaged vehicles  because of accidents lying on the road side which is expected in such risky driving conditions. This is not a one day or few hours arrangement but it will be like this for more than a month!!! I couldn't believe that state government and other law makers couldn't come up with some other viable alternative other than blocking half of the highway for almost a month.

Actually clean India cannot be a government's responsibility alone, no doubt that they have to provide required infrastructure in which they are not doing very good job but this movement should be pushed by residents of India because after all they will be the ultimate beneficiary if this happens. Their quality of life will be improved tremendously in this project is a success. I noticed that very few people are really bothered about making this movement a real success. Most of them show a very casual and careless attitude towards it, they themselves are not willing to contribute anything positive towards this task and complain that 'nothing can be changed in this country'. I always try to question this attitude but with very limited success, my question to them is, 'if you are not willing to change who you expect to change things for you?'. I agree that government is not doing its job properly but people are also not making it easy for government by not at all cooperating. On Varanasi station I saw a cleaning person cleaning the platform and people immediately spitting or throwing wrappers behind his back. Because of all this platforms still stink, animals like bulls, cows or dogs freely roam not only on roads but also on train platforms of Varanasi! This needs to change if Indians are at all serious about making India clean. My first impression about how this program is progressing almost after a year of its launch is not that good, I hope this changes in near future. I hope government works aggressively to develop proper infrastructure which makes it easy for people to dispose all type of waste properly. I hope people also cooperate with the government and follow a hygienic and responsible public behavior. Currently clean India looks like a very distant dream, but I don't think it is a impossible dream. Present government is claiming to work very aggressively and sincerely on many important projects, so I hope this is on top of their priority list. Clean India is necessity for all Indians and unless all of us collectively work towards it, it will remain a distant dream. Let's change it, let's clean it.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]


  1. The problem is not cleanness ......Your problems are with Modi Bhakt!!!
    First of all we have to clean our house and we have to be crazy about that. Once we get that habit then only we can have our neighborhood clean and city and country....

    But If we don't teach our kids to clean their own room and house....No away we can achieve that goal. In US how many cleaner you find on the roads....Its just people who keep their neighborhood clean.........

    1. Off course I have problems with Modi bhakts who unnecessarily attack of others for even remotely saying anything against him, for that matter I oppose any bhakts who attack others venomously whether they are Rahul bhakts, Kejriwal bhakts or any others..but I wonder how come you came to this conclusion after reading this post?? This post is not at all about any bhakts and their bhakti for their idols, I make very clear about my dislike towards habit of following anything or anyone blindly in my blog post. I absolutely have no issues if these bhakts keep their bhakti to themselves, it is their right to practice it but they can't force it on others so I guess now you must be clear about this.

      Didn't I clearly mention that it's up to people to help govt to achieve this huge task??? And as far as clean homes are concerned I have seen spotless clean homes in India even in dirtiest neighborhoods so at least I can't say that Indians don't keep their homes clean rather their homes are cleaner compared to homes in many developed countries so I don't think that's the problem. The problem is taking care of environment out side their home like they do in their home. The problem is their selective attitude towards cleanness, unless they resolve this one can not blame govt entirely for failure of this project.