National Cleanliness Day - January 30th
Living in a Healthy Environment: The Pleasure of Life
A clean environment is a pleasure to live in. It does not have to be expensive. Keeping the environment clean and healthy is the responsibility of all.
Our immediate environment consists of our house, our compound and the surrounding area near our home. A healthy environment is important if we want to stay healthy. Sometimes people keep their environment very dirty with the result that it badly affects their health. Wherever we live, it is important for us to keep it clean. Common practices, which make our environment unhealthy, should be avoided. The cleanliness of a village or entire town begins from the cleanliness of individual homes. The responsibility for environmental cleanliness is that of all. The teacher should impress on the students the need for individual participation in keeping the environment clean and healthy.
A State-wide Cleanliness day is observed in January 30th in all the villages of Maharashtra under a “Total Sanitation Campaign” for creating awareness among the people of rural areas to lead a healthy life by way of cleanliness.
We should also care about our Natural Environment in a wider view. We must try to keep clean our natural areas and surroundings for better future of next generation and survival of natural systems!
What organization can do...?
‘Total Sanitation Campaign’ is a community participation campaign; Panchayats and villagers must play a vital and prominent role in its successful implementation. Villagers have worked with their Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) representatives to clean up their villages. This means total sanitation –
- Debates, painting, essay and quiz competitions can be organised for the school children under the campaign.
- Individual toilets can be constructed in villages to make the State completely free of open defecation.
- Efforts for the management of solid waste and dirty water.
- Garbage segregation, vermi-composting of organic waste.
- Sanitary landfills for inorganic waste
- Drains to channel water, waste water treatment and reuse.
- Biogas for cooking and regular cleaning of the village.
What can an individual do….?
Many dump their garbage in the streets and as a result, flies, rats and cockroaches breed. Other animals like crows; stray cats and dogs scatter the garbage all over the place. This helps spread diseases. It gives a bad odor too.
How can we create a clean environment?
- Stop throwing garbage here and there and collect it into one place and dispose of it properly.
- One should not throw garbage around while visiting natural areas (lakes, sea, forest, parks), heritage places. This will help to maintain the beauty for which we visit them.
- We should also collect empty tins, coconut shells and bio-degradable plastic wrappers and give it to garbage collectors.
- Choose a place in the compound where garbage containers are kept. Throw all waste into the container.
- When a garbage container in the compound is full, it should be emptied in a special place outside the compound.
- Do not form the habit of burning waste in your compound with the smoke blowing all around.
- Do not pour dirty water on public roads or just anywhere in the compound. If you do, it might begin to smell and keep the road untidy.
- Do not throw solid waste into drains or gutters. The waste may block the drain.
Make sure that the sewage pipe in your surroundings is not broken otherwise you may get sewage spilling all over.
- We must grow trees around our homes.
- Hand-washing during the preparation, eating of food and special hand-washing using products that are necessary in certain situations, e.g., after using the toilet.
- The Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP):- Government of India initiated an incentive scheme for fully sanitized and open defecation free Gram Panchayats, Blocks, and Districts called the ' Nirmal Gram Puraskar'. (For further information click to following site http://nirmalgrampuraskar.nic.in/nirmalgrampuraskar/index.jsp )
- Sant Gadge Baba Swachata Abhiyan (SGBSA) Puraskar: - State sanitation scheme of Government of Maharashtra to reward GPs based on certain indicators related to sanitation and good governance. SGBSA campaign is launched in 2000. These puraskar aims at creating clean villages through community action following a spirit of competition.
Great People behind Cleanliness
Gandhiji had always emphasised the need for cleanliness for healthy living as healthy people make a healthy nation. However, the cleanliness that Gandhiji has stressed on is not only of the body but also of the premises and the surroundings.
Sant Gadge Baba, who inspired people with his philosophy of self-reliance and community-sharing, would have been delighted at the changes that are being wrought in the villages of Maharashtra. Clean surroundings, self-help schemes, use of fuel-saving devices, increased environmental awareness and the strengthening of women's groups are just some of them. His teachings were simple — give food to the hungry and shelter to the needy and protect the environment. A common man's teacher, the Baba travelled all over the countryside, carrying his trademark broom and wearing his food pan upturned on his head. As soon as he entered a village he would start cleaning the roads and gutters, telling the people that their felicitations would have to wait until his work was done. With the money that people gave him, he built dharmasalas, educational institutions, animal shelters, and hospitals — almost all of which are still functioning. His campaign was immensely popular. After his death in 1956, Gadge Baba and his movement slipped easily into folklore. Two years ago, in an effort to raise awarness about the need for cleanliness among village residents, Ministry for Rural Development started Sant Gadge Baba Gram Swachata Abhiyan.
The National Cleanliness Day observance should not be just a symbolic observance but a wake up call up for all of us to maintain high standards of cleanliness in out homes, work place, road/streets and public places.