When it comes to cleanliness, Raju Srivastava is serious about shouldering the responsibility of generating awareness about it, a task for which he was nominated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
IndiaToday.in | New Delhi, October 2, 2015
If humour has a way to drive home the message effectively, comedian Raju Srivastava surely knows how to do it. In his inimitable style, Srivastava takes a dig at people who litter public places: “Jo log kachra karte hain, woh log pooch rahein hain ki acche din kab aayenge…mein unse bol raha hun ki bhai acche din aap logon ki wajah se nahi aayenge”.
When it comes to cleanliness, Srivastava is serious about shouldering the responsibility of generating awareness about it, a task for which he was nominated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “I have visited Kanpur, Lucknow, Jaipur, Udaipur among several cities, and initiated cleanliness drives at railway stations, bus depots and even temples,” said Srivastava, who lamented the lack of civic sense in the country.
Concurred singer Sonu Nigam, who said that schools need to teach students about sanitation and cleanliness. “When I went to Bahrain, I didn’t know how to use a Western toilet, or how to use toilet paper.”
It is this lack of awareness on cleanliness that CP Dhakal, the Commissioner of Gangtok Municipal Corporation, decided to tackle first to keep the city clean. The city picked up the award for the cleanest hill station in the country. “I go to schools and colleges and tell students about solid waste management, and ways to keep the city clean,” he said.
The corporation workers begin work as early as 4 am. The hard work has paid off as the corporation has managed to keep 90 per cent of the city plastic-free and clean.
Like Gangtok, Assi Ghat in Varanasi has also shown a remarkable change in its surroundings to win the award for the Cleanest Ghat. The steps of the ghat, which till a year ago were seeped in mud, are now spic and span. The Sulabh International took up the task of cleaning the ghat from the scratch and make it a model for other ghats. “Despite the huge number of people visiting the ghat every day, our aim is to keep it as clean as possible,” said Usha Chaumar, president, Sulabh International.
The evening celebrated the perseverance and never-give-up spirit of enterprising individuals. Jayanta Sengupta, the Curator and Secretary of Victoria Memorial Hall, for instance, devised an ingenious way of cleaning the monument. “We use packs of multani mitti to clean the surface of the monument as chemicals may damage the marble,” he explained.
The session also saw Piramal Foundation winning the Corporate Trailblazers Award. “Our aim was to provide clean and safe drinking water to the poor,” said Ajay Piramal, chairman, Piramal Group. The foundation through its Sarvajal project is serving 300,000 people in 12 states.
Sonu Nigam summed up the session by saying that along with the aam aadmi, the authorities tasked with monitoring sanitation should discharge their duties and lead by example.
People keep their houses clean and throw filth near the neighbour’s house: Raju Srivastava
Schools are not teaching children how to keep their city, their surroundings clean: Sonu Nigam
We must follow the principles of Gandhi and support the Prime Minister in his endeavour: C.P. Dhakal
We strive to keep the ghat (Assi Ghat) as clean as possible: Usha Chaumar
If the authorities tasked with cleaning the city are not doing their work, we should have the right to question them: Sonu Nigam