Colourful murals and paintings on compound walls on the theme of cleanliness, cleanliness drives by school children, inter-school quiz, essay and drawing competitions on the cleanliness theme – all these and many more activities marked the first fortnight of November 2015, where schools and educational institutions came together to promote the spirit of ‘swachhata’ as part of a special thematic drive on cleanliness in the education sector.
A year into its launch, the flagship programme of the Government of India – the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) has received a shot in the arm through an intensive national sanitation drive taken up by the Ministry of Urban Development, through all municipal corporations. The initial phase of this intensive drive saw a range of activities being undertaken at the city level by Urban Local Body officials and staff, as well as local citizens, including walkathons, pledge-taking, cleanliness drives at public places, repair of community and public toilet facilities, felicitation of individuals and organizations who have been working in the sanitation space.
The Ministry has now launched an innovative concept of “thematic” drives every fortnight, targeting a particular area or sector. A total of eleven ‘themes’ have been identified by the MoUD for these drives. The first thematic drive, from 15th – 31st October 2015 was taken up with the transport sector (involving railways, metros, airports, bus-stations, taxi and auto stands, etc). While the railways and metro rail corporations undertook various initiatives for cleanliness and awareness generation (nukkad nataks on cleanliness themes, swachhata pledge and shramdan by railway officials at various regions, massive cleanliness drives across major stations, announcements in stations and inside metro coaches), air-carriers had ‘swachhata’ messages printed behind boarding passes, and at the city-level, municipal corporations undertook cleanliness drives in bus stands
The second thematic drive focused on the education sector, involving the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), along with national boards such as CBSE, KVS, Navodaya, UGC, and AICTE. The MoUD also came out with an exciting range of branding collaterals to reinforce the message of ‘swachhata’ among school and college students, through innovative banners, ‘swachhata badges’, flyers, and desk stickers.
The third theme, from 16th – 30th November (with the Ministry of Agriculture), has the agricultural sector as the focus, at Agriculture Mandis, Vegetable and Grain Markets. An exciting range of collaterals – posters, dustbin wraps, banners etc to be used during cleanliness drives at these places.
In the coming months, other themes planned to be taken up include Religious Places, Tourism and Heritage sites and surrounding areas (with Ministry of Tourism), RWAs and housing societies, old cities and main markets (with City Development Authorities), Underpasses, Areas under Flyovers and Main Roads (with Ministry of Road Transport and Highways), Cantonment boards (with Ministry of Defence), Water Bodies (Areas surrounding lakes, riverfronts, beaches, ghats, waterways), Recreation Parks, Play Areas, Rest Areas & other Landscapes (linked to public gatherings), Hospitals and Health Centers/ Institutions (with Ministry of Health), and Government Offices/ Buildings and other Public Institutions. For all of these themes, the MoUD has planned to launch innovative them-based branding collaterals to reinforce the thematic messages of cleanliness.
It is hoped that these initiatives will go a long way to rejuvenate the ‘Jan Andolan’ for Swachh Bharat with increased awareness and higher participation from all sections of the society.