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Religious leaders bat for cleanliness in Lucknow

Sanitation is important to get closer to God. Social, educational and religious institutions can all play a part in spreading awareness, say the clergy

lucknow Updated: Apr 18, 2017 12:37 IST
Anupam Srivastava
Garbage dump near Purana Qila link road.
Garbage dump near Purana Qila link road.(Deepak Gupta/ HT Photo)

Every faith, be it Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Sikhism, stresses on the importance of cleanliness. And because people listen to religious leaders and preachers with rapt attention, the latter can play a vital role in making the citizens aware of their responsibility to keep the city clean. The clerics in the city of nawabs are all pitching in for cleanliness, supporting HT’s drive against filth and garbage.

Mahant Divya Giri of Mankameshwar Temple said, “In Hinduism, cleanliness is considered one of the important factors to attain Moksha. in the Hindu scriptures, a number of shlokas are attributed to personal and community hygiene. Cleanliness has also been described as a marker to judge a civilisation’s or society’s development.”

She said, “People must cooperate with authorities to keep the city clean. Lucknow is a place where we have to spend our lives, so it is necessary to keep our surroundings clean.”

“The education system needs to revisit the lessons on cleanliness. Teaching and learning material regarding cleanliness and hygiene should be included in the curriculum. Schools should demonstrate cleanliness on their premises,” she said.

Read more: Hazratganj: The heart of Lucknow needs a makeover

Rajendra Singh Bagga, president of Lucknow Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee said, “ In Sikhism, sanitation is given utmost importance . Living with cleanliness is a part of life and Sikh culture. Much is said about cleanliness in our society but practically its application is missing. We need to keep our city clean. We cannot remain insensitive to our city. With Swachch Bharat campaign, the government has played its part. Now it’s the turn of the people to accept the challenge and keep the city clean. In fact, the residents must force the authorities to ensure daily cleaning religiously.”

Noted Islamic Scholar and Imam of Aishbagh Idgah Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali said according to the Holy Prophet, without cleanliness of body and environment, one could not receive the proximity of Allah. “Besides that, faith cannot be complete in the absence of cleanliness and purity,” he said.

“Islam has placed a lot of stress on the importance of cleanliness by making it a part of faith,” he said.

He said there was an urgent need to make conscious efforts in educating the people and the authorities about the importance of cleanliness. Serious steps were required at multiple levels to make cleanliness part of our individual and collective lives.

Read more: LMC turns village into garbage landfill; NGT takes note after villagers choke

“Throwing garbage in the streets, roads or parks has become a common practice in society. But there is a lot to be done even on the government’s part. In public places, dustbins are seldom found. At places where they are put up, people do not use them properly. I have seen some people prefer to throw garbage outside them. It is also observed that people clean their homes and shops and throw the garbage on the street without considering its implications. Even students of elite schools throw garbage on the ground, though there may be garbage bins around. This shows our attitude towards cleanliness and hygiene. This should be stopped at every level by certain interference not only by authorities but by religious leaders too,” he said.

“Another habit that is commonly found in our society is spitting openly. People spit paan from running vehicles without considering the pedestrians walking on the road. This practice not only affects sanitation but also reflects poor civic sense of the people,” he said.

“Religious institutions such as mosques and madarsas can also play their part by educating the people about the importance of cleanliness in the light of Islamic teachings,” he said.

Father Donald D Souza said sanitation was important to get close to God and conscious efforts were needed to tackle this issue. “There is a dire need to educate and sensitise people about the importance of cleanliness in the light of faith. In this regard social, educational and religious institutions can play a vital role,” he said.

However, the religious leaders think that what needs urgent attention is the horrible condition of public toilets. In every market, Aminabad, Hazratganj, Chowk, Alambagh, Charbagh ,the shortage of public toilets is a big challenge, but the toilets which are there are filthy and people are compelled to use open spaces.

Read more: Poor waste management affecting soil, water quality in Lucknow