Dear Editor,
The very idea of Swachh Bharat reminds me of a small incident narrated by my father about an old Russian lady in Moscow shouting at some foreigner throwing some scrap onto the road. The loud words uttered by the lady to that erring foreigner “Don’t make my country dirty” still reverberates in my mind. It is the commitment of the old lady for cleanliness and more importantly the patriotic fervour in her statement “my country” is the thing which appeals to me most. Sometimes it amazes me that why no one has taken the issue of cleanliness so seriously so far and also leaves me in scepticism whether this initiative works in our country.
According to me, more emphasis should be made on inculcation of values and priority for cleanliness in the minds of the people. My young niece from abroad when says India is dirty, it pinches me. We often take the excuse of over population of the size of 1.2 billon for all its problems. I always wonder whether we have the resolve to execute Swachh Bharat. This type of initiative for Swachh Bharat can only succeed if every citizen is determined to keep our country clean. Our rivers have become sewers as I read from somewhere, 70 to 80 per cent of sewage in all cities/towns in the country goes into the rivers/Nallahs untreated. A big heap of polythene waste is the common site on any river bank/city Chowks or outskirts. I quite often observed majority travelers in the AC compartments in a train do not get up and throw the tea cups/wrappers in the dustbin but calmly put down the same below the berths expecting someone else to do cleaning when the train reaches the destination. The very same people when travelling abroad cannot afford to do the same, hence the necessity to change the culture.
Some of the steps we should promote in the days to come for making the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan a successful project are as under.
i)    Promoting garbage collection on door to door basis by all municipalities/ local bodies.
ii)    Installation of dust bins at all the Nukkads or street corners.
iii)    Creating awareness for cleanliness through TV Ads/mass campaigns.
iv)    Penal measures for violators by cleanliness patrols by local bodies/ volunteers/ Scouts etc.
v)    Incentives for cleanliness by institutions/industries etc in the form of tax incentives, tax rebates etc.
vi)    Competitions amongst municipal wards for cleanliness trophies/cash prizes by municipalities/local bodies.
vii)    Incentives for garbage processing industries and motivation for generating power from municipal wastes in the form of tax holiday.
viii)    Special emphasis on the curriculum teaching cleanliness in the schools and making the children aware of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
ix)    Strict enforcement on ban of polythene/other non-biodegradable products.
x)    Extensive construction of Sulabh Sauchalaya on large scale and also ensuring their proper maintenance in all cities/towns.
Amulya Gupta
Hyderabad