Prime Minister Modi launched Swachh Bharat on Oct 2, 2014. It’s been a tad over two years and though it has worked in fits and starts, huge changes are not visible yet. All the ministers both at Central and State levels have been doing lip service and some towards Swachh Bharat. A few determined individuals like TemustulaImsong, Darshi Kashi et al are doing their part but that is not enough. This has to be a mass movement and it has to become our second nature. Until that change occurs, the dream of Swachh Bharat will be just that. After hundreds of years of not paying enough attention, the concept of cleaning after self is almost a generational change. Some ideas which can help jumpstart this change are:
- Incorporate the idea of cleanliness and Swachh Bharat in all movies and serials that come in all languages. One doesn’t have to be explicit about it but it has to be done by all actors and everyone involved. Case-in-point, when the highway system got operational in the US, Disney made movies to explain it to masses.
- Ban all paper posters and bills that can be stuck on walls. A blanket ban without exceptions. This includes the posters by various political parties, advertisements etc. During election time, let the campaigning be done with temporary posters that can be stuck in ground [sample shown], with the caveat that the party responsible clear them after the elections.
- This may be tricky and politically explosive idea – remove all statues of all politicians. Historical ones such as those belonging to our emperors, freedom fighters, Dr. Ambedkar etc. can be left as is. I include Dr. Ambedkar in that since for certain portion of our population he is more than just a politician. He is an inspiration and a force which drives them towards betterment. And he was also beyond politics for most part.
- Ban loudspeakers. A normal conversation is around 60 dB and it’s been scientifically proven that prolonged hearing of sounds over 90 dB cause deafness. Swachh Bharat should also include Swachh hearing and so loudspeakers should be banned. Enforce this ban across all religions, politicians, dharnas etc. No exceptions.
- Additionally, it should be mandated that all vehicle horns have a maximum decibel of 60-70 dB. Letting only the couple of cars ahead is enough and you don’t need the entire city to know you are driving so the maximum decibel of 70 should suffice.
It is our belief that if all these were to be implemented, along with the current measures that are being undertaken, a more environmentally friendly Swachh Bharat would be a reality much sooner.