‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ was originally initiated on April 1st, 1999 as the ‘Total Sanitation Campaign’ by the then government of India for maintaining clean environment and proper sanitation especially in villages. It was then transformed to ‘Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan’ in 2012 and later on 2nd October, 2014 Mr.Modi relaunched this campaign under the name of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of clean India.
With massive support from all over India this campaign was highly promoted by the govt. of India. Many famous Bollywood as well as sports personalities such as Amitabh Bachchan, Amir Khan, Sachin Tendulkar and many more came forward to aware the citizens about the importance of cleanliness and this campaign itself. The role of media was also subservient.
What started as a great movement with an intensive support from the society doesn’t seem to be laying much impact these days. No doubt, people have become more aware about cleanliness and its positive effects through social media and other platforms. But there is still a chunk of masses that are unaware of the side effects of filth and dirt. A great majority of rural India still defecate in open and don’t have any idea about any sort of waste management .The waste disposal management is in a very poor condition in our country, people don’t pay any heed towards the disastrous effect of their negligence.
Despite many warnings from environmental activists, the waste disposal on the riverbed of Yamuna is increasing at an alarming rate. Uncontrolled development and skewed planning has worsened the situation and it’s not limited up to the Yamuna river only. At the time of launching this campaign Mr. Modi vowed to clean the sacred river Ganga but only after three months, the Supreme Court reviewed the situation and remarked that with this approach Ganga will not be cleaned even in 200 years. The sewerage infrastructure is in a bad shape and the treatment technology is not up to the mark to clean the water adequately. Such failures put a big question mark on the success of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ which was relaunched with great expectations and many big promises.
The govt. has proposed many laws under which municipalities can punish those found spitting, urinating and throwing garbage at public places. Setting up town vending committees in each local authority was also proposed. On one hand the government is trying hard to create an impression of working hard on this issue but on the other hand, some politicians were seen putting the dirt on the streets and then cleaning that dirt themselves. It seems that this campaign is not more than just a political gimmick for some politicians. The efforts of the government are seen on the paper only.
For any such campaign which includes the masses of society, it becomes very important that there should be a voluntary participation from them too, as long as their mentality towards such an important issue is not changed it will keep placing a hurdle on the success of this campaign. Government is proposing laws and providing funds but nobody knows how long is it going to take for such proposed laws to come into action, along with that it is necessary to create more awareness programmes especially on grass root levels so that the people of this country also feel responsible towards this and don’t rely upon the government only to work in favour of them. Every individual must act responsibly and the state government as well as the local authorities should work efficiently and effectively for making this campaign a successful one.