I've visited various cities in the most modern and clean countries like Singapore, Switzerland, Germany etc., even there, people do throw soft drink cans, tissue papers, cigarette buds and used napkins in bus stops and food courts. Interestingly, Singapore is one of the cleanest and I believe its because its cleaned every hour, every day and every week. It can even afford washing the streets and apartment complexes - the government has policies, will power and money - people also are scared of being caught and the severe punishments imposed.
Can India afford this?
Firstly, What is Swatchh? - its written as स्वच्छ in Hindi which has several meanings....like clean, neat, fresh, cleanly, silvery, spotless etc.,
I came across a website describing this mission (doesn't appear to be an official one). The mission is all about ending open defecation by 2019. Year 2019 was chosen because it will be the mark of Mahatma Gandhi's 150 birth anniversary year. Even though the initiative focuses on toilets for everyone - the mission is appeared to be a wider focused one. ."........towards a cleaner India"
While more details of this mission is awaited answers to the following questions would help us understand India's future better,
- How exactly the segregation of waste, garbage handling and recycling is expected to improve?
- How much does this mission focus on building the entire chain of infrastructure right from collection to disposal of waste across the country?
- How will this be maintained or sustained - especially keeping the toilets clean and hygienic?
- Whats the governments thinking beyond this mission?
- On 2-Oct-2014 alone, throughout India, few thousand metric tons of garbage would have been collected in addition to the daily collection. Thanks to this mission and the enthusiasm shown by the entire country. How would this additional volume of garbage be handled? this question is important since the garbage dump yards barely have any space or blocked by the local villagers where they are dumped, especially in Bangalore?
Read my other blogs related to the same subject....
Dirty India-root cause analysis-potential solution
Clean India can come with Clean Habits