City was enjoying holiday instead of participating in the cleanliness drive.
Even though the BJP had announced the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan with much fanfare two months ago but the campaign has lost its sheen. The saffron party had issued instructions to ministers for participating in the cleanliness drive yesterday and clean public places like railway stations and market places etc. When the campaign was launched in October everyone was enthusiastic and had cleaned public places and railway stations. Railways stations wore a clean look then as waste was disposed in garbage bins. Already, we have seen ministers taking brooms in their hand and posing for photographs just for the sake gaining public attention.
At some places, they sweep the places which are already clean. Sometimes, garbage is deliberately thrown on streets and later cleaned by politicians. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan which was meant to be a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019 is failing to achieve its objective due to the lackadaisical attitude of politicians and citizens.
The scenario is very different now as no legislators or corporators were visible at railway stations making a mockery of the campaign. This time railway officials lost interest in the campaign as they too had not taken part in the cleanliness drive. Is the campaign become merely a publicity stunt and losing its relevance?
A railway official spoke to AV on the condition of anonymity and said, “We had participated in the cleanliness drive in October 2 and sacrificed our leave. This time we planned to spend the day with our family members.”
Amar Rathod a Dahisar resident said, “The Swachh Bharat campaign kicked off with great enthusiasm but today after two and half months people are lacking the same spirit to keep their surroundings clean. Some just grab this chance to gain publicity, if indeed this campaign was done sincerely India would be clean within one week of the commencement of Swachh Bharat.”
Tushar Soni a private sector employee from Kandivali said, “How do you expect someone to come and clean the place, when that person already has made plans? Or probably if they are busy cleaning their own houses? If really everyone changes their mindset and attitude towards cleanliness for their city and environment, then the place would have not been so dirty in the first place.”
Pravin Raje a Borivali resident said, “I feel it’s just another political gimmick in an attempt to earn few brownie points and get noticed by the public. Swachch Bharat will be successful the day all decide and pledge that they will be responsible citizens and not to dirty the place. It makes no sense if one person cleans and another litters the surroundings”.
On the other hand, Mumbai’s iconic ‘dabbawalas’ celebrated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to them to join the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ by distributing sweets.
“We are truly thrilled and honoured… It’s a big responsibility given to us and we shall go all out to implement it,” Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Trust (NMTBST) spokesperson S.Talekar.
He said this was the first time a group of commoners – the 5,000-dabbawalas – has been invited for the ongoing national cleanliness campaign initiated by Modi.
“Until now, it was only the celebrities and other big names who were joining the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. We dabbawalas live in slums or chawls perpetually surrounded by dirt and filth. Henceforth, we shall carry a broom along on our bicycles and clean up wherever required,” Talekar said.