Mahatma Gandhi Community Forum

Recommendations of students on clean India campaign

Nandini Voice For The Deprived, a Chennai based NGO , organised a debate  for school and college students   on  24th January,2015 at Chennai on “How to make the clean India campaign successful?”

 The objective of organising the debate  was to give an opportunity to the students to provide their views and recommendations that would benefit  the country and the government.

A number of school and college students in Chennai participated in the debate. The students spoke with considerable enthusiasm and suggested number of  feasible ideas. The highlights of the recommendations of the students have been  sent to Prime Minister for his consideration  and implementation.

The following students were awarded prize

  1.       M. Hemalatha      – SBOA Matriculation School, Chennai
  2.      A. Advaith             -  St. Michael’s Academy, Chennai
  3.      G. Manesha          -  S B O A Matriculation School, Chennai
  4.      M. Amitha           - Tamil Nadu Ambedkar Law University, Chennai
  5.      B. Shweta              - Panimalar Engineering College, Chennai
  6.      R. Raghav              -  AMET University, Chennai
  7.      G.Thamizharasi   – Tamil Nadu Ambedkar Law University, Chennai


We desire to submit the recommendations of the students for your study and views

1.     Need to start the Clean India campaign at school level.

The clean habits and clean consciousness can be built amongst  students in the formative age group successfully, that will bring a new generation  who value cleanliness  as the centre of all activities.

Subject of waste avoidance,  handling and treatment should be introduced  in the curriculum at the school level all over India as compulsory subject.

Every school should be asked to form Swachch Bharat Club, where the students can constantly discuss the subject and coordinate their activities to take up the campaign both in the premises of educational institutions and outside.

2.     MOU between rural and urban educational institutions :

Each school and college located in urban area should sign a Memorandum of Understanding with a school or college in rural area. This would help in taking the new ideas to rural areas and those in urban areas will have a lesson or two to learn from rural areas.

Such move would contribute enormously in providing a vigour in clean India campaign amongst the students in the formative age group, which will have great positive impact on the society .

3.     Reform oriented punishment needed

The consensus view was that fine and punishment at individual level   should be imposed on those  , who cause  unclean conditions on the public places like urinating etc. However, the punishment should not be punitive but must be reformist.

It can be in the form of asking the violators to do cleaning  work for a few hours in a place of their choice. Those  who apologise for such behaviour should be warned and compelled  to attend some special classes conducted by NGOs on clean India campaign.

However, the students cautioned that with the widespread corruption in official machinery at various levels, violators may get away after bribing the police men or supervisors.


4.     Need for waste bins in many places

Number of waste bins suitably designed should be kept in all public places like bus stands, railway stations etc. in accessible place, with prominent pointers to them. All transport buses and railway compartments should have waste bins.

The very presence of waste bins and constantly  seeing them by the passers by will promote consciousness about the need for cleanliness to some extent.

5.     Involving celebrities in  clean campaign  amount  to ridicule

Cinema stars, sports persons, business men etc. are being roped in by Prime minister in the clean India campaign. People wonder as to whether these people would any day clean in their own homes and whether they would do so in public places without camera aimed at them.

There are  many common men and women all over India who are genuinely concerned and take active part in clean India campaign. Their efforts should be highlighted and appreciated in all villages, towns and cities by exhibiting their photographs in public places , which can be reviewed every three months.

This would make clean India campaign people centric ,instead of the present glamour oriented celebrity centric, which really amount to ridiculing the movement.  Media focus on these so called celebrities  but people are not impressed.

Like Arjuna award given to the sports persons, national award should be instituted to recognise and  award those who contribute to the promotion of clean India campaign in various ways including technology development.

6.     Need for stress on avoiding waste and reuse of material

The used packagings, medical wastes , electronic wastes etc.  are big source of waste generation. The reuse of  material like waste paper, used plastics are very important. Lot of technology inputs are required in achieving this objective.


7.     Recognise rag pickers as self employed professionals :

The rag pickers are silent and great contributors to the clean India campaign now. The government must introduce special schemes to recognise the contribution of rag pickers and look after their welfare in the short and long run.

The rag pickers should be encouraged as self employed professionals and the society should have the maturity and wisdom not to look at them in a demeaning way.


8.     Need for neighbourhood citizens’  initiatives:

Citizens should be encouraged to form associations in neighbourhood to promote the clean India campaign in the local areas ,by monitoring regularly the cleaning activity and preventing those who cause unclean conditions.

Official notification from the government recognising such neighbourhood associations will go a long way in sustaining the campaign and the government departments should  be  instructed  firmly by the government to meet the members of the association to take suggestions and coordinate the activity regularly.

9.     Need to use traditional art forms :

Government should  encourage NGOs to carry out clean India campaign at local levels by designing  stage and road  shows,  using the traditional art forms , which will have a great impact in motivating the people and sustaining the clean India campaign.

There is no need for the government to provide financial assistance to such schemes but the neighbourhood associations can fund such projects in their areas by contribution from the citizens. People will donate money , if they are assured of earnestness of the campaign.


10.     Many unclean conditions are due to the failings of government machinery

In  thousands of villages in India  and in many places  and even in towns ,the toilet facilities are lacking in households, particularly in the case of citizens living below poverty line. The government machinery has failed to provide such facilities for them.


Even in public places,  toilets are not adequate in number and many of them are very poorly maintained. In many cinema theatres and even in some schools, such facilities are lacking or very poorly constructed and maintained. 

Perhaps, it is high time that the government  confess to the people that it is also responsible for the unclean conditions in India and  the government should admit that unclean conditions are not due to the people alone.

While around  30 % of the country men  are below poverty line, at least 30 % of the country men are living in comfortable conditions with surplus income and super rich in India are  competing with the world rich people. These people have great responsibility to make monetary contribution voluntarily  for the clean India campaign. If they would not do, they must be considered as irresponsible and unconcerned. If they would not actively participate in the clean India campaign , they may soon become an eyesore for the poor people.

11.   Long drawn out battle:

The campaign for clean India must be waged in the minds and hearts of citizens.

Prime Minister has given a target of five years for achieving clean India, which is unlikely to be implemented adequately within this time frame.


There is really no need to fix such targets, as the campaign for clean India has to be continuous and sustained for all time to come.  The campaign has to be a permanent one and not time bound.


Nandini Voice For The Deprived


Twitter : @nsvchennai





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