Is `Clean India’ drive really working?

By T S Sudhir
I was at the Sangeet crossroads in Secunderabad at 430 pm on Saturday, November 8. The light had turned red and I was on my bike, behind this car. 15 seconds into the wait, was thrown out this plate and napkin after what must have been a tasty chaat. But Prime minister Narendra Modi’s Clean India campaign or not, I have always found littering public places revolting. I took a photograph of the episode and then told the girl sitting on the back seat that what she did was not right. She glared angrily and then reluctantly said sorry. I requested her to pick it up. She shook her head to indicate no.
I wanted to ask her if she would do the same in Singapore but the light turned green and the traffic moved on. But her father was clearly livid at what they must have perceived as an “insult” and kept honking behind me incessantly perhaps to let loose a few abuses. In my book, he was indulging in yet another uncivilian act – of contributing to noise pollution.
Since October 2, we have seen many celebrities indulging in farcical photo-ops, to earn a commendatory tweet from the PM and he has obliged as well. Look at how Hema Malini and Prakash Javdekar are cleaning an already clean place. But nothing will make India a clean place unless we move away from celebrityhood and make Clean India campaign a `in your face’ drive. Instal mini garbage bins in every nook and corner so that there is no excuse to litter the streets. Name and shame people who do so in public.
We owe it to ourselves to keep our public spaces clean.
Vrindavan: BJP MP from Mathura actress Hema Malini participates in Clean India Campaign in Vrindavan on Nov 7, 2014. (Photo: IANS)

About t s sudhir & uma sudhir

Uma Sudhir and T S Sudhir are senior journalists, based in Hyderabad. Both work for NDTV. Uma is a Tamilian, who was educated in
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3 Responses to Is `Clean India’ drive really working?

  1. I agree….but I also see an idea…actually a seed of an idea implanted on every educated brain…that is a good begining.Takes lot of time….but we will be there …I am sure.

  2. plain truth says:

    A nice article, once again, and very valid points. Unfortunately, no one will bother about it. I will be trolled for this but the problem begins at the top. A very nice initiative by the PM but his obsession with publicity and self image has turned this mission into a big joke. One way to go about it would have been to tackle it from bottom up – garbage collection at segregation at all households including slums, dustbins within reach everywhere (and these dustbins should be emptied regularly too), public education and penalties and shaming. However, these are now tweet-worthy so nobody bothers.

  3. anandkumarrs says:

    Indeed – it is repulsive and frustrating to see Indians merrily littering in public spaces. Corner stone of Swachh Bharat will not be cleaning but “Not littering/spitting”, ..
    Pls read my post – “For Swachh Bharat, Stop the cleaning!!!” which I wrote first. –
    3 months into the Abhiyan – Are there any changes on the ground. May be yes. That’s my latest post – Towards Swaasth and Swachh Bharat –
    Feedback welcome. Thanks

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