Festival of Dussehra
Dussehra is actually the festival of the Kshatriyas. But all Hindus observe this festival with great joy. Traditionally, in Indian culture, Dussehra was always full of dances, where the whole community mixed together, met and mingled. But because of external influences and invasions over the past two hundred years, we have lost that charm today.
Otherwise, Dussehra was always very vibrant. The Vijayadashami or Dussehra festival is of a tremendous cultural significance for all of us who live in this land – irrespective of caste, creed, colour or religion – and should be celebrated with gaiety and love.
Government should monitor ODF program
The Government of India recently declared urban India as ‘Open Defecation Free’ (ODF) nation as a global benchmark and the same has made the headlines along side ‘Swachh Bharath Abhiyaan‘ and Single Use Plastic ban enforcement effective October 2. It is welcome to know that the government has wholeheartedly chosen October 2 as a symbolic day to engage the citizens and promote for a crucial social and environmental cause-with single use plastic ban now being added to the list.
While a proud citizen appreciates the efforts to declare India as ODF nation, there is an urgent need to monitor such environment programmes through extensive awareness, campaign management and effective program implementation. ODF status requires one to maintain high level of tidiness of the premises round the clock, adequate supply of water and timely upkeep by trained personnel. Unless there is a high level of cleanliness and hygiene ensured, ODF will only remain as a symbolic achievement .
Also Indian citizens aren’t quite used to cleaner public restrooms as practised in other countries and a clean sanitation remains confined only within household or establishment and is typically not followed in public spaces. ODF program should now have a mandate to provide adequate and clean access to public restrooms make use of the facility provided in a public space. Such a change should lead to a high impact on people’s otherwise casual approach towards a clean sanitation practises and also improve personal hygiene especially in a public space.
Further the government should strictly monitor ODF program implementation ideally through a Nodal agency or a new department affiliated under watchful eyes of a Ministry. Unless cleaner spaces are assured to access the public restrooms in both urban and rural spaces, ODF will otherwise require a greater push to achieve a complete success.