Clean mind makes clean environ


It has been a ritual for past four years now to please masters or to those make hey while the sun shines to talk Swach Bharat -clean India. Every type of gimmicks has been tried and brought in to play to reach the envisaged goal 2nd of the October 2019. What has been achieved in this regard so far during last four years if be of any cue than be sure goal shall remain centuries away. Time set by Prime Minster Narinderbai Modi has reached almost at our door steps. Unfortunately dream became a distant dream even after pouring millions and millions of money of the poor exchequers who are made to pay through their noses. Everyone has been made to talk on, walkathon, some exposed themselves inappropriately on consideration for Swach Bharat Abhihyan ever since it was handed on to the nation through the administration and government sponsored media. But no one come forward to own it till date and carry the baby to the envisaged point, which can be termed born to be orphan. A splendid euphoria got created by Narenderbai Modi as a newly elected Prime Minister addressing to the nation for the first time from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 68th Independence Day in 2014, assured that the befitting tribute to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019 shall be clean India.
As such nation-wide cleanliness campaign was launched by Shri Narendra Modi from Rajghat, New Delhi on 2nd October , birth Anniversary of the father of the Nation to provide sanitation facilities to every family, including toilets, solid and liquid waste disposal systems, village cleanliness, and safe and adequate drinking water supply. Just one and half year has left been left at our disposal but there is nothing to write home about. It has proved one of the worst gimmicks on the part of the newly elected Prime Minster of ours, whose one of the greatest assets has been to make commoner believe and leading them into the dreams world of all pleasures? There should not have been any reason to doubt as these green pastures have been offered by none other than the Prime Minster of India himself. Indian masses that day were swept to a new heights of hope and jubilation, through well played orchestra played both by electronic as well as print media. Every part of the media was well oiled to move in a perfect calibrated manner, zero noise optimum hype for which authorities shell out millions. About 3 million government employees, school students, and college students from all parts of India participating in 4,041 statutory cities, towns and associated rural areas. Each street, roads and infrastructure of India's cities, smaller towns, and rural areas cleaned of the dirt of every kind. Eliminating open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets proposed target has been set by 2 October 2019, through construction 90 million toilets in rural India. The mission contains two sub-missions: Swach Bharat Abhiyan ("Gramin" or rural), which operates under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; and Swach Bharat Abhiyan (Urban), which operates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The mission includes Brand ambassadors drawn from every walk of life, Actresses, Actors, Classical dancers, Sportsperson of repute , Baba jees, Governors, many have appeared on the print and electronic media, holding a broom for a few minutes shown sweeping the already sanitized streets in ’swach uniforms'. These swach uniforms remained spotlessly swach after the ritual was over.
Bindeshwar Pathak, a sociologist, who founded Sulabh International, an organization that promotes human rights and environmental sanitation, is of the opinion that these workers should not be discriminated against. “They should be insured, given a higher salary, given all equipment to protect themselves and more importantly, treated better. This way, anybody can undertake this job. Even Modi ji has realized it and budget allocation to Swach Bharat Mission has witnessed a dip. A sum of Rs 17, 843 crore has been allocated for the programme as against the allocation of Rs 19,248, according to the revised estimates of last year’s budget. This is the first time in the last four years that the allocation for the sanitation programme has gone down. What he had desired is desirable indeed one of the priorities to be tackled but it should have the moving spirit in it to carry the job with each and every ones participation devoid of Manusmiriti ideology. As long as you ask others to do menial job of yours, the success of the Swach Bharat shall remain a wishful thinking. Swach Bharat Abihyan needs attitude change than the movement first put horse before the cart to carry the mission to its logic end. The three vital essence for its success as Gandhi emphasized are, cleanliness of mind, clean body and clean surroundings has to be taken in its totality in order of succession. First and last is conspicuously all together missing yet we aspire something which is far from being converted in to a reality under the present scenario. Narenderbai Modi said that the Swach Bharat mission is beyond politics, inspired by patriotism and not politics. Does patriotism mean to dirt filth generated by higher class be cleared by underprivileged on their head with naked hands? Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt a humanitarian wife of Frank D Roosevelt 32nd US president has expressed herself as "it is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself."
The Prohibition of Employment of Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act was passed in 2013 nothing has changed in four years. Reports continuously pour in without fail almost every day from across the country deaths due to of manual scavengers. Bezwada Wilson, the activist, whose human rights organization Safai Karamchari Andolan has been at the forefront of attempting to eradicate this practice, attributes it to the Indian society, which is inherently caste-based and deeply patriarchal. “When Dalit women are doing work like this, society never considers it inhuman or abnormal — we think that they are born only to do this and give them some money, it is enough.” Wilson believes that there’s no point in making laws, prohibitions or acts, if citizens don’t actively participate. “Citizens must realize it’s not acceptable to send someone down a gutter or a drain.” We should feel ashamed of ourselves and re-examine whether we’re really civilized, stresses Shailesh Kumar Darokar, associate professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences and chairperson, Center for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies. “It’s our denial as privileged people to talk about such issues – we’ve never been involved in manual labour and we’ve just appropriated the infrastructure and resources of our country, leading to no social, economic equality in our country”. Mission requires as Gandhi ji said and practised, everyone must be his own scavenger. Are we willing to practice, never it seem unless those engaged in the job refuse to do so, very remote chance due to poverty, or the job is made highly lucrative. The discrepancies in the emoluments has to be narrow down considerably, promotion avenues opened as in other skilled job be it be technical or ministerial one who rise up to highest hierarchy of the administration. There are now educated people doing this menial job , are they destined to be scavengers all their life and future generations too chain to go on. Predicament is so that those from the class get benefits of the category, get dirty work from their own class who could not get bettered their life for one reason or the other that is the tragedy of the system and demo vote driven politics. Gandhi visited Shantiniketan of Rabindranath Tagore in February and March 1915. Below is an extract of an interview given by Rabindranath Tagore to Shri SK Roy in 1920 explaining the impact of Gandhi on the inmates of Shantiniketan. Rabindranath Tagore says, “What I could not accomplish in years, he did in a few days. The 'elite sweepers' were smilingly sweeping in the company of dozens of other men and women, when photographed. Jawaharlal and Sardar have no objection to cleaning their own lavatories. How can they have any in having the living quarters of their attendants cleaned? A one-time Harijan servant of Jawaharlal is now a member of the U. P. Assembly. I shall be satisfied only when the lodgings of the ministers' staff are as neat and tidy as their own." (Speech at a prayer meeting on 3 September 1946)". Everyone must be his own scavenger. - M. K. Gandhi No one bought the idea enmass than nor now. Even above the line as Gandhi ji said Harijan too ask others to carry the job of, but still carry the tag of reservation. Gandhi had stressed that it is the responsibility of the people towards cleanliness to protect the environment, “So long as you do not take the broom and the bucket in your hands, you cannot make your towns and cities clean." Needless to add Kashmiri valley is the only place in the subcontinent which has not practiced untouchability at any given time, this prompted many a Kashmir Pandit to seek spouses from Jammu division from the class generally has been, avoided on Manusmiritis ideology.
(The writer is Jammu based environmentalist)