Focus on cleanness

Cleanliness drive is an integral component of Swachhata Pakhwada – Swachhata Hi Seva 2023, being observed from September 15 to October 2, marking the birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi. Many functions have been organized and many more are in the pipeline and focus remains more or less on cleanliness.

Over the years, the administration administers “Swachhta Pledge” to all Administrative Secretaries, Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners and senior officers in J&K.

As per the pledge, the employees undertake to remain committed towards cleanliness and devote time for this. In past they were asked to pledge to devote 100 hours per year and that is two hours per week, to voluntarily work for cleanliness. Also the pledge required them that they will neither litter nor let others litter as also for initiating the quest for cleanliness with self, family, locality, village and workplace.

For Jammu and Kashmir’s villages and towns to be clean, involvement of each and every citizen is important, rather it is imperative.  Without the cooperation of people, it would be impossible for any government or civic bodies to ensure clean streets and public places.

There is a need to de-stigmatise the act of cleaning, and the participation of citizens in large numbers in a mass cleaning exercise. It should not be a one-off or annual event. The government and people must be devoted to cleanliness endeavors every passing day.  It is not the case that efforts have not proved entirely unfruitful, there is need to do more. The administration should also involve large scale participation of religious leaders to meet the endeavor.  While voluntarism is very good, the same cannot be a substitute for strengthening civic infrastructure and efforts must be continuing to meet the better results.

The civic bodies need to be at the centre of the clean process for ensuring cleanliness and hygiene as well as improving solid waste management.

The Chief Secretary also rightly called for adopting best practices followed in many villages, where cleanliness and beauty are synonymous with rural areas..

There is a need to look into reasons and causes as to why the goal of scientific waste management and full sanitation has not been fully met or what is needed towards these meeting the goal need to be identified and worked out.

Increasing community involvement especially at household level is a way to meet the goal on overall cleanliness measures.

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