“Cleanliness and Order are not matters of instinct, they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them.” Benjamin Disraeli
The above words said by former British Prime Minister are more relevant in today’s context. The quote rightly explains the importance and inter-linkages of education, cleanliness and proper societal order. If growth and development is the goal the above statement is the path. This path is well understood by our current Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and he took it as a mission initiated as ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’.
The Swachh Bharat Mission is one of the most promising public health initiatives launched by the Modi Government. The flagship programme has adopted the ‘round spectacle frame’ of the Father of the Nation as the logo for the mission and targets towards creating a “Clean India” by the year 2019. If efficaciously implemented via huge public- private partnership, the Swachh Bharat Mission holds prodigious potential for providing robust economic growth. It is indeed commendable to note that Mr. Modi has dared to dream big and had the prophecy to accomplish extraordinary economic growth and prosperity for a huge country like India by usage of something as simple and unpretentious as a ‘broom’. This five year mission is anticipated to usher in a sea change in behavior of people in India and also change the world’s perception of India. It is indeed commendable to comprehend how the broom can essentially be instrumental in bringing about transformational change in our nation’s economy along with social change. In my opinion the mission is poised to have far- fetched implications in more ways than one.
India can be considered a heritage country. I believe that neatness and safety play a crucial role in drawing tourists in any country. Challenged with the concerns of hygiene and sanitation in the country, particularly at momentous tourist destinations, this mission is of weighty importance for Indian Tourism Industry. According to the report of Water and Sanitation Programme (WPS), ‘Economic Impacts of Inadequate Sanitation in India’, tourism-related economic losses from inadequate sanitation are estimated to be Rs. 12 billion ($266 million). Of these losses, 45 percent (Rs. 5.5 billion, $121 million) are from loss of tourism earnings. Cognizance about a destination is the distinct reason for tourists to cherry-pick a destination. The mission purposes to rebrand ‘Incredible India’ by introducing the concept of ‘Swachh Bharat , Swachh Samarak.’. Tourists all-inclusive perceive India as a very murky and filthy country where children and adults openly defecate. Swachh Bharat mission will have extended impact on tourism in India. The deleterious perception of the tourists about India will gradually dissuade. We can increase the foot- prints of tourists coming to India in times to come and tourists will definitely carry with them an image of clean India, safe India. This programme is indeed sustenance for the tourism sector in our India and a way to showcase India’s vast, rich and cultural heritage.
- Innovation and Eco-Entrepreneurship:
Our country is home to a population of over 1.27 billion people and it is expected to be the most populated country in the world by 2025, beating China in the fray. The rapid growth in population and fast track development all over the country is inevitable. However, most of our cities and towns are unable to bear the burden of this huge population and to provide basic amenities such as hygienic surroundings and clean drinking water. It is essential to effectively manage green waste and recycling of water for drinking purposes has become an absolute necessity for managing the requirements of a large population. Thus, in the backdrop of insufficiency of natural resources, escalating costs of power, climatic change, and deterioration of our environment we need to find out innovative ways to manage our waste better. This ‘abhiyaan’ of Modi government can play a booster to eco-entrepreneurship. This will prove to be a win-win business opportunity for Eco entrepreneurs and enable us to even outsource our technology to various developing and poor nations of the world which are plagued by epidemics due to water and land pollution. The frugal innovations in the field of cleanliness can contribute immensely in reducing environmental pressure and India will be the pioneer for the same.
- Waste management
We usually notice garbage and domestic waste that pile up on our streets are often left untreated, and these decay on site and eventually pollute the land and water underneath. The glitches triggered by solid and liquid wastes can be significantly lessened through eco-friendly technologies that will allow appropriate treatment and dispensation of wastes .The benefits of effective treatment of garbage are enormous. Conversion of waste to energy produces clean, reliable energy, thereby shrinking the usage of scare and fast depleting natural resources such as coal and petrol. These energy resources are not only economically beneficial but also help us in reducing and recycling garbage for daily use. This will also reduce the extent of our dependency on oil producing countries, thereby hugely contributing towards cost reduction. I strongly vouch for the development of precise cost effective green technology to recycle and manage every type of waste and it would lead to profitable and sustainable business in the field of waste management.
- Gainful and meaningful employment for rag pickers:
Rag pickers are a fundamental part of waste management systems across our country. Their work involves serious health hazards and they work in very inhuman conditions. It is very taxing and fetches them a measly income and no recognition at all. A significant proportion of rag pickers in our country are women and children, who are exceedingly poor, unskilled, uneducated and are not employable elsewhere. This manpower can be efficiently and effectively utilized for waste management projects and cleanliness drives in the country. This will not only protect their self -interests but also give them recognition in the formal system. Employment for the poorest of the poor through effective training Programmes can help them to lead a decent living.
- Powering the Beti Bachao Campaign:
Mission Swachh Bharat aims to construct separate toilets for boys and girls in schools and villages. This is indeed a right step in the right direction. Most girls drop out of school in villages because of lack of toilets for them in schools. This noble initiative will reduce the number of female dropouts in schools and increase female literacy to a great extent. Further, this initiative will protect and safeguard women against sexual crimes as steps towards cleanliness and toilet building will restrict the women to defecate in open. Thus, the ‘beti bachao, beti padhao’ campaign can be directly associated with Swachh Bharat mission. Safe, healthy and educated women can contribute immensely to a nation’s social and economic well-being.
- Disease Control:
The swachhata mission will aid in reducing land and water pollution to a substantial level. The presence of cleaner areas will reduce the outbreak of diseases like diarrhea, cholera, malaria and dengue, which claim valuable lives each year in our country. For children in particular, the access to toilets and clean environment will lessen the number of diarrheal deaths and anemia due to intestinal parasitism. Thus I see a ray of hope that Indian children will be far healthier and stronger if this program is a success. Healthy children make a nation strong and prosperous. The success of the mission also reduces the burden on fiscal budget as we need to allocate lesser amount to social health care sector and disease control expenditures.
- G.D.P. :
The Swachh Bharat mission can have a visible impact on India’s G.D.P. If the target of Swachh Bharat can be achieved then the government expenditure on health care can decline sharply which in turn can help government to maintain high G.D.P. Currently as estimated by World Bank illness from lack of hygiene cuts India’s G.D.P. by 6.4 percent (%) and 6.6 percent (%) of G.D.P. contribution is attributed to tourism. Cleanliness causing a hindrance to the tourism industry de facto if a tourist spot is in a filthy condition then the basic hygiene of the place will be affected attracting lesser and lesser tourists day by day. If the defect is removed, it will boost up the G.D.P. rate. Therefore, Swachh Bharat Mission, a vision of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi directly targets India’s growth.
- Urban Governance:
The honorable Prime Minister Mr. Modi also pitched the idea of urban governance by linking it to ‘Digital India mission’ and ‘Swachh Bharat mission’. The cleanliness drive should emphasize on solid waste management and water waste management through public-private partnership. This can spur the growth of organic farming and can initiate the demand of organic fertilizers. Waste management and demand for organic fertilizer can become a cyclic process thus reducing the environmental pressure. The linkage of ‘Swachh Bharat’ mission and urban governance can trigger the demand from the grassroots for total sanitation of the cities.
Thus, it could be concluded from the above points that “Ek Kadam Swachata Ki Aur” mission can lead to the fulfillment of the ultimate mission of the nation that is fast track growth with inclusive development. Being the responsible citizens of this nation each one has to do his own bit to achieve this national mission.