PM’s “Cleanliness” Drive – It’s also about changing the attitude, restoring the dignity of labor, rising above class and caste !
Cleanliness is undoubtedly a virtue and is to be encouraged. Cleanliness is traditionally associated with good health, tidiness, and purity. In fact it is said that Cleanliness is next to Godliness’. In many cultures, hygiene and holiness go hand in hand.
The hard and hitting truth is the Culture of cleanliness and Hygiene in public places has not prevailed in our society for decades and no one could truly gauge this silently destructive phenomenon of converting “Public Spaces” to “Filthy Litter yards”. The situation is both scary and shameful.
There is no point in getting infuriated or defensive about this. The lack of cleanliness and hygiene hits the eye wherever one goes in India — hotels, hospitals, households, work places, railway trains, airplanes, temples….If there is a ranking of countries in respect of observance of standards of sanitation and hygiene, one can be sure that India would figure close to the bottom.
This is not to say that we Indians are not hard working. It is our attitude and bias against manual labor, which has got so deeply ingrained in our society over the ages. The fact is in India a blue-collar work is considered degrading & demeaning while white-collar work is uplifting & gives high status in society.
Though it is important for important social figures to set an example by openly and publicly cleaning and showing that anyone can perform this labor without losing dignity, we need complete framework to achieve this.
Need to adopt Public Cleanliness Index?
The Public Area Cleanliness Index an effectively provide an objective measurement on the cleanliness of the city like in some other parts of world.
The proposed cleanliness index can be based on simple 4 factors that directly affect the cleanliness of the public area.
The four factors
- Trash, Litter
- Garbage Cans
- Organic Materials
- Fecal Matter
Based on simple measurable parameters the areas/wards/suburbs/cities/villages can be graded
- Excellent – Very Clean
- Good – Clean
- Satisfactory – Acceptable
- Poor – Filthy
- Scary – Extremely Filthy
The sidewalks, roads, bridges, parks, parking’s, crossings, waterways, open areas, community places, public centers, government schools, public toilets etc should be covered.
It is only possible when “Public Cleanliness” work and manual labour is considered a work which is “Dignified” and is given due social acknowledgement.
Let’s change our attitude towards “Manual Labour”, rise above the “Class & Caste” approach to cleanliness work and make India a cleaner place to Live. The task is huge as India will start dumping 150 million tons trash by 2050.
“Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan” is right in its intent and spirit. It helps all of us aspire for an India that is Clean and scores high on Public Cleanliness Index.
स्वच्छ भारत, स्वस्थ भारत , सुदृढ़ भारत
Manoj Rawat | India
The views expressed are purely personal.