Garbage on every street corner is hardly a surprise -most people walk by it every day , but on Friday the focus was suddenly on the tonnes of trash.
To mark Gandhi Jayanti, political parties as well as citizen groups came together to hold cleaning drives as part of the Swachh Bharat campaign. October 2 also marked one year of the Central government campaign to clean up the country .
Intensive cleaning drives were held at Malleswaram, Infantry Road, Vijayanagar and Town Hall on Friday morning. The chief minister kicked off the Swachh Bengaluru Abhiyaan in front of Town Hall. Some residents termed the episode another political gimmick in the name of Gandhi. R S Deshpande, former director of Institute of Social and Economic Change, said in a civilized society , there was no need to take up such missions. “I am ashamed to see our PM requesting us t o clean up. It is a basic ethic for all of us to keep ourselves and the surroundings clean. Mahatma Gandhi’s name should not be used as a ladder towards cleanliness. We all are responsible for keeping the country clean,” he said.
The initiative failed to impress environmental activist Leo Saldanha. “If we really understand Bapu’s philosophy , we would know that his principles insisted on cleanliness of governance and if our governance was clean, we would not have garbage on the streets. Swachh Bharat is nothing but a political tamasha misusing Mahatma’s name. In the past year, the state of cleanliness is worsening. It is an indicator of the government’s failure.”
At many places, rallies taken out to mark Swachh Bharat had to pass sewage water in the middle of the road and garbage dumps.
K Shubha, regional coordinator of Institute of Social Sciences, said simply using Gandhi’s name will not make India Swachh. “Let the government at the Centre, state and city levels implement the scheme in its truest spirit and create awareness among every class of citizen.It is only the resident welfare associations of upscale layouts that follow these campaigns,” she said.
SREENIVASAIAH PRESENTED GANDHI SEVA AWARD
Chief minister Siddaramaiah on Friday called upon people, especially the young generation, to be vigilant against communalism that’s rearing its head in different forms in the country.
He said this after presenting the Gandhi Seva award-Karnataka 2015 to H Sreenivasaiah, 91, president of Karnataka Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi.
He is the second recipient of the award, which also carries a cash award of Rs 5 lakh.
Born on January 4, 1925 at Chaudhari Koppal, Devalapur Hobli, Nagamangala Taluk in Mandya district, Sreenivasaiah actively participated in the freedom struggle and was imprisoned in 1942 and 1947.He worked underground and published papers.
GANDHI BHAVANS IN ALL DISTRICTS
Chief minister Siddaramaiah on Friday proposed the setting up of Gandhi Bhavan in each district to spread Gandhi’s principles among the younger generation.
He said this after inaugurating a Gandhi Picture Gallery in the Gandhi Bhavan. The new gallery is dedicated to Gandhi’s spiritual guru Shrimad Rajchandra from Gujarat.
“Gandhi continues to be relevant in today’s world. There should be Gandhi Bhavan chapters in each district so that more youth are drawn to Bapu’s way of life.”
He said Gandhi spent his life trying to eradicate untouchability.”However, it is sad to see untouchability still exists in our country,” he added.
Every drop counts is an adage that citizens and governments take very seriously to mean even the smallest of efforts counts -but when it comes to cleanliness, efforts such as sweeping streets on Gandhi Jayanti are just a drop in the ocean. Instead, authorities as well as residents should keep their surroundings clean every day. One day of sweeping is not going to rid us of the filth of years. Civic sense is something we all need to develop and making sure we do not litter, throw garbage on the streets and make a mess should be part of our ethos. Until that happens, Swachh Bharat will remain just a slogan and cleaning drives just showpiece events.