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Mahatma Gandhi – Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Hi students,

How much do you know about the ‘Father of our nation?’ This article highlights the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.

So lets’ understand why Mahatma Gandhi stood by cleanliness.

  1. In South Africa, Gandhi observed that White Europeans humiliated and ill-treated the Indian merchants and other free Indians.
  2. However, these merchants and free Indians treated the Indian semi slaves similarly.
  3. When Gandhi stood up for this cause against the Europeans where he was made aware of the unhygienic habits of the Indians.
  4. He urged the Indian community to improve their public image on sanitation and untouchability.
  5. The deadliest plague that broke out in Johannesburg in the Indian settlement was attributed to the lack of sanitation by the Indians.
  6. On his return to India, his focus on sanitation grew stronger.
  7. The drive for cleanliness in the Gandhian movement grew stronger after the non-cooperation struggle of the early 1920s.

While sanitation is the basis for a healthy life and has been taught in schools, it isn’t put into practice. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s dedication to hygiene, the details of which is mentioned below:

  1. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was initiated by the Government of India in 2014 to eliminate open defecation and Improve Solid Waste Management (SWM).
  2. The mission aimed to achieve an “Open-Defecation Free” (ODF) India by 2nd October 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.
  3. The Swachh Bharat Mission was launched at Rajpath in New Delhi.
  4. This is the most significant cleanliness campaign by the Government of India.
  5. While cleanliness is linked to tourism, it is important to have high standards of hygiene at a global level.
  6. This mission not only appealed to the sweepers and workers but all the citizens of the country.
  7. The Indian government intends to offer all the citizens hand pumps, proper drainage system, and bathing facility to promote cleanliness amongst citizens.
  8. Health and well-being have been a major concern among the majority of the population that lives in the rural region of India.
  9. India is considered one of the countries with the lowest sanitation facilities.
  10. Even in the urban areas, the aim is to keep the surroundings clean by not littering everywhere and using dustbins.
  11. Since millions of lives depend on water bodies, the increasing dirt and pollutants in the water were becoming hazardous for human health. Through this mission, the water bodies were cleaned.
  12. Sanitation is directly linked to the spread of communicable diseases which is prevalent in India
  13. This mission was also aimed to bring down the death rate among children.
  14. The dream is to have a cleaner and greener country.
  15. With proper sanitation, the quality of human life will ascend.
  16. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has achieved significant milestones.

Objectives of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan:

  1. Open-Defecation Free behaviours are sustained and no one is left behind.
  2. Solid and liquid waste management facilities are accessible and reinforcing ODF behaviours and focus on the safe management of solid and liquid waste in villages.
  3. To encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation.
  4. To develop, wherever required, community managed sanitation systems focusing on scientific Waste Management systems for overall cleanliness in the rural areas.

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