Saturday, October 18, 2014

Swachh Bharat and me

Swachh Bharat is a great initiative by the Modi government. We should keep our country clean and hygienic at all times and I am totally for it. However, I think it is very important to note that the responsibilities of keeping the country clean lies with citizens and the administration equally.

In an ideal situation, the administration would provide bins at sufficiently large number of places and would have an efficient method of picking up the trash at a designated time of the day. Now, it's the responsibility of the people that they have their trash ready in the desired form, say divided into wet and dry when the pick up happens. The people would also not litter garbage anywhere and use the bins for the purpose.

But, alas, in our country both the systems do not function properly. It has become a cycle of administrative failure and lacking behavior from the citizens. The trash pickup system is pathetic to say the least. During my two year stay in Bangalore, the civic administration changed the contractors for the pickup several times. They brought in a law that said that the trash has to be separated into wet and dry garbage. Now, like a good citizen, I bought two bins and started to separate the trash. The pickup frequency for the wet garbage was daily and for the dry garbage was weekly. The daily pickup never arrived when I was home. Things started piling up and I had no option but to look for a place where it was allowed to throw trash, like a bin from the BBMP. Unfortunately, I never found that too. As it turned out, the pick up guys came once or twice a week around 12 noon. Now, who would be there at home at this time of the day? This is not the case just for my locality, but a number of my friends also faced the same. 

In the era of Achhe Din, every idea looks like gold. But this initiative, while great, is for me just a cost we are paying for the years of neglect by the civic bodies and the citizens. I am not saying the idea is bad, it's great, but it's sad that we needed a Modi to tell us about this through Achhe Din. If the same initiative had been started by the previous government, we would probably have rubbished it saying that it's the responsibility of the government to take care of the cleanliness. That to me is the sad part. Let's just hope that we all do our part and we have clean cities and villages.


  1. I think Swacchh Bharat is a great what finally happens..the for everyone to wait and see. I recently went other more developed nations and I was thrilled by the cleanliness. It really matters a lot. While we are at it...please let's do something about the noise pollution too! Indian drivers are always honking! No peace of mind while walking on the streets :(

  2. Yeah it's very much important. I just moved to US and the cleanliness discipline is very good. Noise pollution too yeah. There is literally no honking here. Hopefully, when I come back home things will be much better. At the same time I wanted to highlight that the civic administration has to scale up too :)